Melbourne launches ‘connected living transport lab’

Thousands of sensors will be deployed in Melbourne, Australia as part of a project which connects data from vehicles, cyclists, transport infrastructure and more.

The project, led by the University of Melbourne School of Engineering, aims to reduce congestion and improve road safety.

The “connected living transport lab” covers a 1.2 square kilometre test area of the city. It integrates data from VicRoads, Public Transport Victoria, the City of Melbourne and the City of Yarra with traffic updates from global mapping data company HERE Maps, delivering insights into traffic planning, pedestrian flows, public transport efficiency and freight movements.

The researchers hope to prevent traffic jams and crashes, and cut travel times and carbon emissions. Ultimately, the project will also pave the way for connected and autonomous vehicles.

Connecting smart sensors with smart devices opens up a whole world of connectivity, according to project leader Majid Sarvi, Professor in Transport for Smart Cities at the University of Melbourne.

“Intelligent transport systems will analyse this data and deliver insights into traffic planning, pedestrian flows, public transport efficiency and freight movements,” he explained.

“The research tells us that connected transport could in time reduce the economic impact of road crashes by 90%, not to mention the devastating human impact.”

Professor Iven Mareels, Dean of the Melbourne School of Engineering, said that international industry leaders are attracted to the project because of its ambitious scope, significant scale and strong research base.

“Success will mean safer cities, cleaner cities, happier cities and more liveable cities,” he said.

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