You never know what’s around the corner – you may have been told this at some point in your life. Despite this deterministic view, new technology to improve road safety in Australia is ready to allow drivers to do just that.
Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (CITS) are being trialled in New South Wales and allow vehicles to communicate with each other and report on events further up the road.
In what could prove pivotal for business insurance estimates, in-car devices communicate with each other and road-side infrastructure (traffic lights, crossings, etc.) to adjust to any dangers that could be ahead.
CITS use wireless signals at a frequency of 5.9 gigahertz to communicate and share information across dedicated short-wave platforms. Data such as vehicle positions, traffic flow and speed is collected and used by the devices at a rate of 10 times per second.
John Wall, road safety technology manager at NSW Centre for Road Safety, said communication could be key to making Australia’s roads safer and minimising the risk of accidents.
In a report by the Australian, Mr Wall said: “Systems will speak to the traffic signals and provide information back to the vehicles.
“We will be able to give vehicles advance notice that the light is turning red and, hopefully, stop any crashes at the end of the queue of traffic if, for example, the driver was a bit distracted for some reason.”
Business vehicle insurance
With the project first being trialled by Toll Holdings, a transport company, the data-driven devices could be implemented in Australia as early as 2015.
Global insurance company Allianz said the development has “the potential to push car innovations further”, and this could lead to more competitive car insurance packages in the future.
It could take a decade for the technology to make it a staple in business fleets. But, as is common with these types of technology, lower insurance costs could drive the demand for CITS higher, and we could see the technology being widely used sooner rather than later.