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Austroads harnesses telematics for freight route analysis

Telematics data viewed as valuable for roads and policy planning


Peak roads agency Austroads has released a research report demonstrating how a range of heavy vehicles use roads designated as key freight routes.

Key Freight Routes – Heavy Vehicle Usage Data Project, in conjunction with Transport Certification Australia (TCA), collected data from heavy vehicles and found that telematics can provide a wide range of statistics that can help inform public policy and road planning.

“Government decision-making related to transport infrastructure spending – where it is best directed, when it is required, and the level of investment needed – benefits substantially from having an accurate picture of how heavy vehicles use the road network and where heavy vehicle congestion occurs,” the report contends.

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“Telematics systems can provide useful statistics to help road agencies make infrastructure spending decisions,” TCA data insights manager Tim Renowden says.

“Telematics data can provide valuable information about vehicle movements across whole road networks, and in some cases the data provides more detailed road usage information than traditional traffic surveys.”

The report provides aggregated, de-identified statistics for heavy vehicle road usage, travel speed, journey time and congestion information on 288 roads and 18 interstate corridors during 2016.

The project involved more than 4,300 heavy vehicles and 1,000 transport operators.

“However, there are nearly 100,000 registered articulated trucks and 350,000 registered heavy trucks in Australia,” Renowden says.

“Data from a wider sample of vehicles would give us more reliable road use estimates.”

The report recommends developing a broader national freight vehicle telematics data collection which can be used at national, state, territory and local levels to inform policy and planning.

The report is available here.

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