ACMA paves the way for ITS technology

ACMA paves the way for the introduction of intelligent transport systems nationwide

By Brad Gardner | October 27, 2009

Regulators could soon introduce another form of electronic monitoring under a proposal from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

The government agency has recommended allocating the 5.9 GHz spectrum range to intelligent transport systems (ITS) which transmit data between in-vehicle radio units and roadside infrastructure.

A spectrum range is necessary to allow regulators to introduce ITS, which the ACMA says is capable of reducing traffic congestion and accidents because real-time information can be transmitted over short distances.

"ITS applications operate using wireless technologies to provide a more effective method of traffic management," the ACMA writes in its policy proposal, Planning for Intelligent Transport Systems.

"Improvements in traffic management may lead to a decrease in the number of road accidents and carbon emissions and provide an increase in transport efficiency outcomes and cost savings to the Australian community."

The ACMA says equipment will need to be installed in vehicles for traffic notifications to be effective. Regulators are already using ITS devices in Australia such as the Intelligent Access Program (IAP).

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) says the introduction of ITS will provide truck drivers with vital traffic information to help them.

"We think it is a good thing," a spokesman for the ATA says of the technology.

Under the ACMA’s proposal, ITS will share a spectrum range with existing fixed and satellite services.

The group says the range was chosen to match international standards.

"The ACMA believes international harmonisation will allow the Australian market to benefit from the economies of scale in the production of ITS modules worldwide.

The paper was released in the lead-up to the ACMA’s one-day seminar on spectrum issues on November 18 called Transport Spectrum Tune-Up.

Stakeholders have been given until December 17 to submit comments.

The ATA spokesman says the group will consider the report before deciding whether to make a submission.

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