Connected vehicle trial commences in Victoria

Lexus Australia will become the first automotive partner to join the ground-breaking Australian Integrated Multimodal EcoSystem (AIMES) which is developing a real-world testing environment for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications technology.

Led by the University of Melbourne, AIMES is a collaboration of 50 government, transport and technology partners including Australia Post, Toll and Scania.

This real-world trial of advanced Co-operative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) technology will deliver crucial research to provide next-generation road safety solutions.

Two specially prepared Lexus RX 450h SUVs, fitted with Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) and cellular network technologies will be travelling around a special precinct testbed in Melbourne incorporating a six-square-kilometre area spanning Carlton, Fitzroy and Collingwood, bordered by Victoria Parade, Hoddle Street, Alexandra Parade and Lygon Street.

In addition to the connected vehicles, the AIMES trial area includes a network of smart sensors connecting public transport, pedestrians and cyclists, intersections, and streets into a fully integrated ecosystem.

The two Lexus SUVs can communicate with traffic lights, trams and emergency service vehicles to proactively deliver warnings and alerts of potential dangers to the driver of the vehicle even before they come into a driver’s line of sight.

Lexus aims to use the trial to develop applications such as warning the driver when turning in front of a tram, or warning the driver when a cyclist or pedestrian has pushed the button on traffic lights to cross the road – including at Melbourne’s challenging ‘hook-turn’ intersections.

Lexus will develop and trial further applications including alerts when a driver attempts to enter a one-way street or freeway entry/exit the wrong way, when an emergency vehicle is approaching, or when it might not be safe to enter an intersection.

Trialling how vehicles communicate with other vehicles and the local environment is critical to achieve a cohesive ecosystem between drivers and other road users to ensure warnings of potential danger are delivered ahead of time.

Trialling this technology targets a reduced risk of vehicles driving through red lights, turning into trams, or being unable to see pedestrians obstructed by traffic lights and other infrastructure before they step onto the road.

“Imaginative technology and leveraging innovation are core to the Lexus DNA, and we are committed to delivering next-generation road safety outcomes,” said Scott Thompson, Lexus Australia Chief Executive.

Software for the new Melbourne trial has been developed locally by Lexus Australia engineers specifically to address the city’s unique traffic environment and regulations.