New freight transport system to save billions

April 25, 2001

Billions of dollars each year could be saved by a new Australian initiative that aims to streamline the transport of freight.

The project, called ITS Connect, was developed by Australia's national science agency, CSIRO. ITS Connect addresses the expensive problems of traffic congestion and transport delays, which cost an estimated $5 billion a year in travel time and vehicle operating costs.

ITS Connect is one of the many examples of CSIRO innovation that will be on display at the Hannover Trade Fair in Germany April 23- 28, 2001.

"The focus of the project is to deliver practical, cost efficient and commercially viable technology solutions to address specific issues identified by government and industry as affecting freight movement in urban and rural areas," says Project Director Mr James Lawson.

ITS Connect combines several state-of-the-art technologies such as:
· real time traffic flow modelling
· high speed processing technologies to aid collection of real time information from the road network
· advanced optimisation and decision tools to aid industry and government in streamlining the movement of freight

For example, freight operators could tap into the ITS Connect system to find the best freight route in real time, obtain connection information and track existing freight movements.

"We believe that this project is unique in that the core aim is to get out and trial these technologies in the field and bring them to the market as soon as possible - ITS Connect is very industry focussed," says Mr Lawson.

The ITS Connect project is a multi-disciplinary effort, bringing together Australian expertise in telecommunications, data acquisition, sensing and monitoring, transport modelling and information technology.

It builds on the recommendations contained within e-Transport, the National Intelligent Transport System Strategy that was developed by Intelligent Transport Systems Australia in 1999 on behalf of the Australian Transport Council (ATC).

It will also involve extensive consultation and collaboration with regional transport authorities, telecommunications companies and transport industries.

The multi-disciplinary approach of the project will encompass the many technologies already developed by the CSIRO divisions of Mathematical and Information Sciences, Manufacturing Science and Technology, Telecommunications and Industrial Physics and the division of Building, Construction and Engineering.

CSIRO Australia

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