National Transport Commission Australia reviewing use of telematics for regulatory purposes

The National Transport Commission (NTC) in Australia has announced that it will review the use of telematics for regulatory purposes across the transport sector in order to find ways to encourage further take-up and realise safety and productivity benefits. (The NTC, which is funded by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments, provides advice and national land transport reform proposals to government through the Transport and Infrastructure Council.)

Telematics, a combination of the words telecommunications and informatics, enables the real-time transmission, receiving and storage of data/ information from remote objects such as vehicles. The information could include location tracking of vehicles, driver behaviour, maintenance requirements and data on accidents.  

NTC Chief Executive, Paul Retter, explained that the Transport and Infrastructure Senior Officials’ Committee (TISOC) has directed the NTC to consult with transport operators, telematics service providers, road agencies, and government certification agencies to help identify opportunities to more effectively harness the benefits of emerging technology solutions.

The focus will be on telematics regulated by the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), including the Intelligent Access Program and the Electronic Work Diary, in addition to telematics used for regulatory purposes in taxis, buses and alcohol interlocks. The Intelligent Access Program is a program to allow heavy vehicles to have access, or improved access, to the road network in return for monitoring, by an intelligent transport system, of their compliance with stated access conditions. While electronic work diary means all or part of an approved electronic recording system that is fitted to or used in relation to the vehicle to record information a driver of the vehicle is required by this Law to record in a work diary.

A report will be provided to TISOC in March 2018.

Mr. Retter said, “Telematics can boost productivity and safety by making it easier to share more accurate data between vehicles, drivers, operators and third parties. We are already seeing telematics technology being used by operators for commercial and internal compliance purposes in the freight sector.”

“While telematics technology is also being used for regulatory purposes, such as allowing vehicles with higher mass limits to gain additional network access, the level of uptake is not as strong as it could be. This review will help us to better understand why this is and how we may be able to improve uptake using current systems at a minimum cost to operators,” he added.

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