Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) are emerging technologies that enable vehicles and surrounding infrastructure to exchange information about the location, speed and direction of other road users also using C-ITS.
C-ITS are expected to significantly improve road safety and reduce congestion; in particular through collision avoidance, improved traffic management and aiding decision making by drivers.
C-ITS are still being developed and are expected to be incorporated into new vehicles by manufacturers over the next three to five years.
A C-ITS enabled vehicle approaching an intersection, with no visibility of oncoming traffic, broadcasts its location, speed and direction signal and receives the same signal from a another C-ITS enabled vehicle approaching from a different direction. If the vehicles’ trajectories indicate an imminent collision, both drivers would receive warnings from their in-vehicle systems. This would allow the drivers to respond to these warnings systems and reduce speed to avoid a collision, even before they can see the other vehicle coming.
The NTC and Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems
The NTC’s final policy paper on Cooperative ITS Regulatory Policy Issues was released in December 2013. The paper examines the policy implications of C-ITS and discusses how Australia could best prepare for the introduction of C-ITS.
Issues for consideration include:
- privacy – C-ITS applications generate significant quantities of data that in theory could be linked to individuals. C-ITS must be implemented and managed within Australia’s privacy laws that govern the collection, use and disposal of personal information
- liability – clearly defined responsibilities for liability in the event of a crash involving a C-ITS enabled vehicle will be required to provide certainty to drivers, manufacturers, insurers and road managers
- driver distraction – existing rules govern the use of technology inside vehicles to reduce driver distraction. An assessment is required of how C-ITS applications fit within these existing rules
- compliance and enforcement – how and whether C-ITS technology will be used for compliance and enforcement purposes will be critical to providing certainty to drivers about how they will be treated.