Trucks to be kings of road


The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - FRONT PAGE - MI­RANDA WOOD

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.

WHO said it wouldn’t last? They met on a re­al­ity TV match­mak­ing show renowned for the trail of bro­ken hearts it leaves be­hind, but the orig­i­nal Aussie Bach­e­lor Tim Ro­bards and his girl Anna Hein­rich are about to prove the crit­ics wrong. They talk...

The new light sys­tem.

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