Vic trials radio break-in

An anti-collision quick warning rail level crossing system based on radio frequency break-in for bus, truck and car radios was trialled in Victoria this week

Vic trials radio break-in
Vic trials radio break-in

By David Goeldner | April 1, 2011

A level crossing warning system to prevent collisions between trains and road vehicles was trialled at Yendon near Ballarat in Victoria this week.

Victoria has a notoriously high number of rail level crossings dotted throughout the state, and Public Transport and Roads Minister Terry Mulder vowed in December on his appointment to the Baillieu ministry to make rail crossings safer.

"The Radio Break-in collision warning system – which warns drivers of approaching trains at level crossings – is the first of its kind in Australia and is a new railway level crossing safety system," Mulder says.

"The Radio Break-in system broadcasts messages to local vehicles to warn them of hazards, such as approaching trains at railway level crossings."

Mulder says it could also be used in other applications, such as to warn of approaching emergency vehicles.

"In Victoria between 2001 and 2009 there were 120 people killed and 172 injured in vehicle crashes involving collisions with trains," he says.

"Level crossing crashes result in enormous human and financial cost."

He says the Victorian Government is determined to take action to save lives and reduce injuries at railway level crossings across the state, and part of this effort is investigating smart, innovative and intelligent transport warning systems.

"Smart technologies such as Radio Break-in will become increasingly important in improving road safety for all Victorians," Mulder says.

"The purpose of this trial is to develop and demonstrate an innovative railway level crossing safety system with the potential to be deployed in Victoria."

The Radio Break-in technology works by fitting a radio transmitter unit to a vehicle or train, or to roadside infrastructure such as a railway level crossing, which broadcasts a local signal.

Small receiver units are fitted to vehicles and a warning message is played over the vehicles’ sound system.

The technology also enables a warning message to be delivered to a driver even if a vehicle’s sound system is switched off.

VicRoads has partnered with the Department of Business and Innovation and the technology developers, NFA Innovations, and many rail and road transport stakeholders, to deliver this ‘proof-of-concept’ project, which has culminated this week in the trial.

The project is funded under the Victorian Government’s $28 million Smart SMEs Market Validation Program, which aims to promote innovation in business and government to grow the Victorian economy.

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