Latest Austroads publications, driverless car trials, Australian cycling participation and upcoming seminars
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Welcome to the August 2015 issue of AustroadsNews

This edition has information about an Austroads project to produce new hazard perception test video clipsthe South Australian driverless car trials, Western Australia's report on connected vehicles, the results of the last vehicle census, as well as a run-down on our latest publications, and links to upcoming seminars and conferences.

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Call for expressions of interest to produce 150 Australian hazard perception videos 

Austroads is calling for expressions of interest to produce a suite of new car and motorcycle hazard perception test videos and supporting material.  

The short 15 second video clips will be used in hazard perception tests which are currently part of the licensing process in New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland.

The clips currently used in the tests need updating and, in a world first, the new clips will incorporate specific scenarios for motorcycle riders.

In total 150 clips will be required along with supporting and educational materials. Austroads is hoping the content can be delivered by May 2016 but the timeframe could be negotiable.

A briefing session will be held 17 August at the Austroads National Office in Sydney and the closing date for submissions is 28 September 2015.

More information is available on the Austroads website.


Updated Roadside Environment Design Guidelines 

Guide to Road Design Part 6B: Roadside Environment provides guidance for road designers on environmental issues including the design of roadside facilities to manage water quality, control noise, manage fauna movement across roads, enhance roadside amenity and provide suitable landscaping of the road environs.

Guidance is also provided on road furniture, road lighting, emergency/help telephones, parking requirements, and on public utility plant location and clearances.

This second edition of the Guide includes editorial and technical updates to sections on:

  • road safety including the Safe System principles
  • the cost and safety considerations for landscaping 
  • the safety aspects of roadside furniture and road lighting.

The Austroads Guide to Road Design seeks to capture the contemporary road design practice of member organisations. In doing so, it provides valuable guidance to designers in the production of safe, economical and efficient road designs.


Review of Overseas Tunnels

Austroads has published a report with information about the design, construction and maintenance of 122 road tunnels in Europe, Asia, North and Central America, Australia and New Zealand. 

The project was designed to assemble information on the construction and operation of a large number of recently completed road tunnels from across the world. With this information it was proposed that standards applicable to road tunnel construction in Australasia be reviewed to reduce the costs of designing, building and operating Australasian road tunnels.

A considerable data searching process was undertaken during this project, with a number of sources of information utilised, including a literature review of printed and on-line media, consultation with industry experts and industry bodies and a survey issued to tunnel operators.

The project was not able to obtain a high level of quality tunnel information which could be used to identify best practices, however, a large number of tunnels were identified for which at least partial information was obtained on the targeted attributes to be collected.


Binder Force Ratio Tests Showing Promise

The current Australian polymer modified binder (PMB) specification includes low temperature stiffness tests but does not include a binder test which ranks the resistance of PMBs to low temperature cracking on the road.

This study investigated whether binder force ratio tests, conducted using the ARRB elastometer, could be included as a binder test in the Australian PMB specification to rank the low temperature cracking performance of binders.

The relationship between extensiometer force ratio results and the low temperature cracking performance of the binders in a single 10 mm dense graded asphalt mix was investigated using four bitumen samples and 18 different PMBs.

Each of the binders was subjected to a range of conventional binder tests so that their test properties could be compared with those of specified binder grades. A good correlation was found between force ratio results and the fatigue lives of the binders in asphalt if binders did not break during extensiometer tests when they were tested under a standard set of extensiometer test conditions.

Based on the good correlation between force ratio results and asphalt fatigue life results observed in the current study, and studies by other researchers, extensiometer force ratio tests appear to be suitable for ranking the low temperature cracking performance of nine of the 13 binder grades which have specified test properties listed in the Australian PMB specification.

The results of preliminary studies indicated that further research is required to optimise the extensiometer test conditions to be used to characterise the properties of hard PMBs as they broke during testing when standard extensiometer test conditions were used. Further work has been proposed this financial year to determine whether appropriate extensiometer test conditions can be developed so that force ratio results can be used to rank the low temperature cracking performance of hard PMB grades.


Australian Cycling Participation Survey Results

The National Cycling Participation Survey (NCPS) is a standardised survey that has been repeated biennially since March/April 2011, with minor changes to the survey structure between 2011 and 2013.

The NCPS provides data on cycling participation at a national level and allows for estimates of participation for each state and territory, and the capital cities and non-capital areas within each state and territory.

Cycling participation rates across Australia are measured over the previous week, month and year. Measured over the previous week the cycling participation rate has changed from 18.2% in 2011 (95% CI: 17.6% – 18.8%), to 16.5% (95% CI: 15.8% - 17.2%) in 2013 and 17.4% (95% CI: 16.6% - 18.4%) in 2015. Nationally there has been no statistically significant change in participation measured over the previous week between 2011 and 2015.

When measured over the previous month and year there appears to have been a decline in Australian cycling participation since 2011:

  • Cycling participation over the past month has declined from 27.1% (95% CI: 26.4% - 27.8%) in 2011 to 24.3% (95% CI: 23.5% - 25.4%) in 2015.
  • Cycling participation over the past year has declined from 40.2% (95% CI: 39.4% - 40.9%) in 2011 to 36.3% (95% CI: 35.4% - 37.5%) in 2015.

Participation rates are highest in Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory.

Separate reports provide an overview of the national results and detail the results from each state and territory. Single page national and jurisdictional summaries are also available.

A driver uses his mobile phone while in a driverless car, which uses Bosch technology.

South Australia to host first on-road driverless car trials in Southern Hemisphere

The first on-road trials of driverless cars in the Southern Hemisphere will be undertaken in Adelaide’s southern suburbs in November.

For the trials Volvo will bring the same vehicle from Sweden that is being used in their Drive Me project – a program that will put self-driving cars in the hands of customers by 2017.

Volvo’s testing will be undertaken in conjunction with Flinders University, Carnegie Mellon University, the RAA and Cohda Wireless.

The driverless car trials will take place on the Southern Expressway on November 7 and 8, with multiple vehicles conducting manoeuvres such as overtaking, lane changing, emergency braking and the use of on and off ramps.

Almost all major car manufacturers are currently working on driverless cars including General Motors, BMW, Audi, Ford, Mercedes, Renault and Google.

For more information visit


Smart Vehicle Technology - Are We Ready?

Earlier this year, Main Roads WA ​released a report highlighting the implications of Automated Vehicles on Western Australian roads. 

Main Roads has since released a report focussing on a second area of smart vehicle technology known as Connected Vehicles.

Connected Vehicles are smart vehicles with wireless connectivity to the internet, local networks or the cloud, other vehicles, personal communications devices, roadside infrastructure or control centres for real-time communication or data exchange.

This together with the 'Automated Vehicles: Are we Ready' report, discuss the imminent availability of these vehicles and what Main Roads need to do to allow their successful operation on our roads.

Learn more now about these smart vehicle technologies by downloading the reports:


Motor cycle registrations outpace other vehicles

Motor cycle registrations in Australia continue to grow showing the fastest growth of any type of vehicle over the past five years, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

"From 2010 to 2015 motor cycle registrations - including scooters - went up by over 22 per cent. There are now over 800,000 motor cycles on Australia’s roads,” said Amanda Clark from the ABS.

“New South Wales has the most motor cycle registrations with 222,111, followed by Queensland with 187,167."

Western Australia has the highest proportion of motor cycles per head of population, at 49 per 1,000 people, while the Northern Territory has the lowest at 29 per 1,000 people.

The 2015 Motor Vehicle Census details the number of registered motor vehicles in Australia and provides information such as vehicle type, vehicle characteristics, including year of manufacture and type of fuel used.

"The 2015 Motor Vehicle Census tells us there are over 18 million registered motor vehicles in Australia in 2015, which is an increase of over two per cent since last year. This includes over 16 million cars and light commercial vehicles.”

The number of diesel powered vehicles in the Australia has also increased, with 19.7 percent of all registered motor vehicles in Australia (3,555,227) now powered by a diesel engine, this in comparison to 13.8 per cent in 2010.


World Road Association and Austroads - Fostering international collaboration

The World Road Association provides a unique opportunity for nations to share expertise and experience, showcase innovation, and partner to tackle common challenges.

Austroads financially supports Australian and New Zealand road transport professionals to attend technical committee meetings and provides opportunities to share the outcomes of meetings and projects locally.

Technical Committees allow participants to access information from world leading agencies and provide professional development and networking opportunities with international transport experts.

Links to the latest technical committee reports are provided below:

Performance of Transport Administrations attended by Brendan Nugent, TfNSW and Alan Colegate, Main Roads WA.

Sustainability and Climate Change attended by Helen Murphy, VicRoads.

Improved Mobility in Urban Areas attended by Robert Freemantle, VicRoads.

Road Pavements attended by Michael Moffatt, ARRB Group.


Webinar: Revised Parameter Values for the Evaluation of Road Transport Projects

Thursday, 20 August 2015
12:00 PM AEST
No charge but registration is essential 

Join ARRB for an online overview of the methodologies used to update the parameter values for road user cost components. The research was funded by Austroads for the review of the National Guidelines for Transport System Management (NGTSM).

The presentation will provide insight into the revised:

  • parameter values for fuel, engine oil, tyres, depreciation, value of travel time and crash costs for an extended 20 vehicle classification (including passenger cars, light and heavy commercial vehicles, and buses)
  • vehicle operating cost models for both urban and rural roads
  • values of travel time provided for vehicle occupants across all vehicle types, as well as values of travel time for freight
  • the methodology and estimates of average cost of crashes for both human capital and willingness to pay approaches taking into account crash rates and injury severities across jurisdictions.

Download the report: 2015 National Guidelines for Transport System Management in Australia: Road Parameter Values


Australasian Road Safety Conference 2015: Program Now Available

14-16 October 2015 | Gold Coast, Queensland

Austroads is a major sponsor of the 2015 Australasian Road Safety Conference. Showcasing the latest research, programs and developments in road safety, ARSC2015 will feature a strong program of national and international keynote speakers, oral and poster presentations, workshops and symposia.

The conference is expected to attract over 400 delegates including researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and students working in the fields of behavioural science, education and training, emergency services, engineering and technology, health and rehabilitation, policing, justice and law enforcement, local, state and federal government, traffic management, vehicle safety – and more.

The program promises to cover the latest in research, practice and policy across the five pillars of action set out by the UN Decade of Action on Road Safety (Road Safety Management, Infrastructure, Safe Vehicles, User Behaviour, and Post Crash Care).

For more information visit the conference website


Upcoming Workshops + Conferences

Trafinz Conference 2015
12-14 August 2015, Dunedin, New Zealand

Parking Australia Outlook Conference 2015
19-20 August 2015, Sydney, NSW

NEW ARRB Webinar: Revised Parameter Values for the Evaluation of Road Transport Projects
20 August 2015, Online, No charge but registration essential

Australian and New Zealand Society of Occupational Medicine Annual Scientific Meeting
23-26 August, Brisbane, Queensland

NEW Concrete 2015 - 27th Biennial National Conference of the Concrete Institute of Australia
30 August -  2 September 2015, Melbourne, Victoria

Asia-Pacific Cycle Congress 2015 
13-16 September 2015, Brisbane, Queensland

AAPA International Flexible Pavements Conference
13-16 September 2015, Gold Coast, Queensland

Australasian Road Safety Conference 
14-16 October 2015, Gold Coast, Queensland

XXVth World Road Congress
2-6 November 2015, Seoul, Korea

4th International Conference on Driver Distraction and Inattention
9-11 November 2015, Sydney, Australia

NEW ALGA 2015 National Local Roads and Transport Congress
17-19 November 2015, Ballarat, Victoria.

Sixth International Conference on Traffic and Transport Psychology 2-5 August 2016, Brisbane, Queensland

23rd ITS World Congress Melbourne 2016
10-14 October 2016, Melbourne Victoria