Advanced LiDAR sensors trialled to improve Victorian road safety

LiDAR sensors

The Victorian state government has partnered with industry to improve safety at dangerous road intersections, installing advanced light detection and ranging, or LiDAR sensors in Yarraville. 

“We all have a role to play to keep all Victorians safe on the road – and for government, we’ll continue to trial the latest technology to drive down road trauma and save lives,” minister for Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll said. 

The LiDAR sensors were installed as part of a six-month trial, detecting the movement of road users including pedestrians, cyclists, cars and trucks to identify potential hazards. The trial was delivered by Omni-Aware, a consortium of specialist technology companies including Intelligent Transport Services, Transoptim Consulting and IBIS Computers. 

“With industry and government working together, we’ve delivered a first of its kind trial using automated vehicle technology at the roadside to better understand its potential for intersection safety,” Omni-Aware co-founder and director Andrew Somers said. 

The $2 million trial was the first extended trial using LiDAR technology to collect road data in Australia. It found the new technology can accurately and reliably detect potential hazards within 0.2 seconds and has the potential to provide real-time warnings, alerting road users of hazards. 

The trial also investigated ways for intersection infrastructure to communicate hazard warnings to connected vehicles, using roadside Co-operative Intelligent Transport System equipment. 

The latest data shows 23 per cent of deaths and 34 per cent of serious injuries occur at intersections. The results of this trial will allow Road Safety Victoria to analyse the information and improve safety at intersections throughout Melbourne. 

The trial comes under the state government’s $9 million Connected and Automated Vehicle Trial Grants Program, in partnership with the Transport Accident Commission. It supports Victoria’s Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030, which aims to halve road deaths and significantly reduce serious injuries by 2030. 

“We know technology plays a significant role in reducing road trauma, so as investment continues into making vehicle systems more automated, we’re investigating how these technologies can help us reduce road deaths and injuries sooner,” TAC Head of Road Safety, Samantha Cockfield said. 

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