Drivers on Melbourne’s M80 will be the first in the world to benefit from ground-breaking technology that will help reduce congestion and shorten travel times by recognising traffic build-up and adjusts speed limits in real time
The Adaptive Variable Speed Limit system recognises when traffic is starting to build-up, and adjusts traffic speed, regulating traffic flow and providing a safer and more reliable journey for the 160,000 drivers who use the road every day.
Victorian Minister for Roads and Roads Safety Luke Donnellan said, “We are applying the world’s best traffic management practices to roads right here in Melbourne.”
Following a manual trial in 2014, the system has now been fully automated on the M80 Ring Road from Furlong Road to Sunshine Avenue, to relieve a pinch-point where traffic has to move from four lanes, down to two lanes.
Powered by an algorithm, the system assesses live traffic conditions and regulates traffic speed by sending information to drivers via overhead gantries.
Without intervention, traffic would eventually become congested and stop. Instead this system aims to reduce the congestion time and maintain movement.
“By being smarter about the way we manage traffic, we can get Victorians home sooner so they can spend more time with their family and friends,” Mr Donnellan said.
The ground-breaking system is the result of collaboration between VicRoads and the Technical University of Crete, to find new ways to reduce congestion.
The new technology will form part of the upcoming construction of the $300 million M80 Ring Road Upgrade from Sunshine Avenue to Calder Freeway, due to start in late 2016.
Drivers can expect to see speed limits change before traffic becomes heavy, particularly during morning and afternoon peak times.
Traffic data from the new system will be closely monitored and evaluated, with a view to rolling the system out more broadly across the state’s freeway network.