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NSW Transport taps into AI and data analytics to improve road safety


Transport for NSW (TfNSW) is using AI to develop predictive algorithms to help national, state, local governments manage their road safety performance. The 2018-2020 National Road Safety Action Plan sets out targets that require 90% of travel on national highways and 80% on state highways to meet a three-star or better safety standard. Up until now, assessing the standards of roads have relied on collecting video survey footage and manual recording methods. TfNSW has now teamed up with iMove Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), the University of Technology Sydney, the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP), and geospatial data firm Anditi, to develop a faster and more automated method to extract raw road data. As part of the initiative, dubbed the accelerated and intelligent road assessment program data collection (AiRAP) project, the group plans to deliver what it refers to as usable data for 20,000km of NSW roads using TomTom's MN-R next generation map data, as well as extraction techniques and machine learning for Lidar data.

Transport for NSW trials machine learning to detect crash blackspots


Transport for NSW has built a proof-of-concept using machine learning technology from Microsoft to identify potentially dangerous traffic intersections and fast-track remediation works. The'dangerous intersections' proof-of-concept, which took place last year, analysed telematic data collected from 50 vehicles travelling on Wollongong's roads over a 10-month period. The data โ€“ sent from the vehicles at a rate of 25 records a second โ€“ was used to pinpoint five previously unknown blackspots, with the two highest-risk now slated for upgrades later this financial year. TfNSW's data discovery program lead Julianna Bodzan came up with the idea while driving down the Mount Ousley descent on the Princes Highway โ€“ a notorious, four-and-a-half kilometre stretch of road leading into North Wollongong. She said the telematics data collected from the vehicles was compared with crash data from known blackspots to discern whether or not other intersections in the coastal city were potentially risky.

Transport for NSW denies IT project cost blowouts


Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) has denied its Making IT Work for You program has blown its budget, telling ZDNet instead the project remains within the funding envelope. The project was kicked off in 2014 with a budget of AU$426 million. "More is being invested in IT as we are roll out a package of major upgrades to modernise how we do business and it is important that budgets reflect the scale of work that needs to be completed," a TfNSW spokesperson told ZDNet in response to questions on the reported cost-blowout of the IT project. The government entity said the project is centred on investing in the systems needed to make Transport a "flexible, agile, and collaborative" workplace. It also hopes up-to-date IT will allow TfNSW to "keep attracting the best people and make sure we're able to deliver the best outcomes for customers".

NSW starts driverless car trial as Uber pauses


The New South Wales government kicked off its driverless cars trial this week, with automated vehicles expected to cruise Sydney streets until October. Working with motorway operator Transurban and car manufacturers to develop the automated technology, the vehicles will run on the Sydney orbital network including the Lane Cove Tunnel, The Hills M2 Motorway, Westlink M7, the M5, and the Eastern Distributor. The vehicles will also be taking to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the harbour tunnel. Transportation is about to get a technology-driven reboot. The details are still taking shape, but future transport systems will certainly be connected, data-driven and highly automated.

NSW rolls out electronic real-time bus displays


The New South Wales government is rolling out electronic displays at a few of its bus stops, using the solar-powered signs to direct people navigating the disruptions to public transport. In a LinkedIn post from Transport for NSW (TfNSW) coordinator general Marg Prendergast, it was explained the new signs, using e-ink technology, are being rolled out at Station Link bus stops during the temporary shutdown of train stations between Epping and Chatswood. For a cost of AU$49 million, Station Link will see the addition of over 120 new buses, expected to provide thousands of extra services from September 30 while TfNSW upgrades the rail line between Epping and Chatswood. It is expected the line will be closed for around seven months. "The solar-powered signs give customers real-time updates about when their next service will turn up using GPS data that tracks our buses," Prendergast said.