Trucks to be kings of road
TAMING OF A BACHELOR LEADS TO ALTAR
TRUCKS are being fitted with congestion-busting technology that warns traffic lights they are coming, allowing them to stay green longer to avoid constant stopping and starting.
The three-month trial, involving 112 trucks and 99 of Sydney’s busiest intersections, uses wireless technology to send a signal that extends the green light before notifying it once the truck has passed by.
Roads Minister Melinda Pavey said “more green time” will speed up daily commutes.
SOME of Sydney’s most congested roads now have traffic lights that can “talk” to trucks and stay green longer to speed them through intersections and improve traffic flow.
As a bonus, car drivers can expect to enjoy faster trips.
The state government is testing the new technology at 99 intersections along Pennant Hills, Parramatta and King Georges roads.
The wireless technology, developed in NSW, is designed to keep traffic moving by reducing the number of times heavy vehicles stop and start.
The three-month trial involves 112 trucks, fitted with special devices, sending an automatic signal that extends the green light. The truck then notifies the lights once it has crossed the intersection.
NSW Roads Minister Melinda Pavey said “more green time” should speed up daily commutes.
“We just want people to be able to get around the network more efficiently,” Ms Pavey told The Sunday Telegraph.
“Whether you’re taking the kids to soccer on Saturday or trying to get home from picking them up at daycare or you’re at the shop picking up dinner, the easier we can do that in a busy city, the easier life is. We want people to spend more time at home.”
Congestion costs Sydney an estimated $5 billion in lost time a year.
Ms Pavey said moving trucks through “more efficiently” also has environmental benefits.
“The less time trucks are stopping and starting, the less emissions they have too,” she said. “Trucks are an essential part of everyday living and if we can just make their journeys and their trips more efficient, then it’s just a sensible thing to do.”
A truck travelling at 60km/h takes 5.5 seconds and 83m to stop at traffic lights.
Each day, about 270,000 heavy vehicle trips are made across Sydney.
And more heavy vehicles are also predicted to clog roads with the Sydney’s freight set to double over the next 40 years.
The new Freight Priority Trial, an Australian-first which started last month, will measure traffic flow for all road users. The government hopes a successful trial will allow it to expand the new technology, which is also another step towards driverless cars.
“The world on our roads is changing rapidly and I don’t think any of us can predict exactly what it’s going to look like in 20 years but we need to be enablers,” Ms Pavey said.
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The new light system.