The paper “ Smart Motorway Technology - Vehicle Detection Systems, Motorway Widening, Auxiliary Infrastructure, Driver Information Systems” is a delightful example of a case study on engineering and construction. Transport of people and goods is one of the fundamental factors which influence the economic growth of a city. With the current rate of civilization, research shows that there will be total traffic congestion in the near future. Traffic congestion will come at a cost that includes increased rates of pollution, an increase in delays in traffic, more fuel consumption, and a possible increase in accident occurrence rate (Barceló 2010). Carlson (2010) observes that traffic congestion occurs when travel demands are higher than the optimum carriage capacity of the current motorways.
Recurrent traffic congestion is experienced in Australian motorways during peak hours and at times accidents and incidents cause non-recurrent traffic congestions. In most of the motorways, the flow of traffic is uncontrolled which means there are no regulations on traffic entering or leaving the motorway. In combination with this regulation insufficiency, poor designs and carrying capacity of the motorways are the major contributors to traffic congestions and related problems. Congestion, which is highly concentrated at the entries, can extend up the motorway.
The exit of traffic from the motorway in an uncontrolled manner can lead to congestion, especially in cases where the traffic is more than exit ramps can allow. This leads to the formation of queues starting from the exit ramps, extending far up the motorway, thus blocking the lanes. Further, these congestions lead to the breakdown of the otherwise smooth-flowing traffic and sometimes lead to stop-start driving. All the above-mentioned factors lead to the unreliability of travel times, high accident rates, poor use of the motorway, and consequent increase in travel costs.
Situations of stop-start driving can lead to increased vehicle crashes which consequently decrease safety on the motorway, increase congestions, and lead to increased emission rates. Australian motorways are constructed and managed by the highways authority which is also responsible for maintenance of the motorway systems. The highway authority is a sub-unit of the transport department which takes the overall responsibility of operation, maintenance, and improvement of motorway networks on behalf of the transport ministry.
Most of the Australian roads are fairly well in terms of maintenance and service to road users. The current roads have been installed with improved technology safety gadgets like traffic lights for control of traffic and zebra crossings, and speed track gadgets which are placed strategically on the major roads (Barceló 2010). However, all these controls seem not to be completely effective in the monitoring of traffic, monitoring, and notifying the authorities of accidents, speed tracking, and all other traffic involved controls. Therefore, the report aims at expounding on a proposal of a smart motorway that will be implemented to give a solution to all the above problems which the current road system fails to address. 2.
Technical DescriptionThe current creativity and innovation in the transport industry, like the use of CCTV surveillance systems, has brought about the reduction of accident rates and more close and detailed monitoring of the highways. For the Smart Motorway Project to be a success it has to outsmart all other technologies used in the transport system and it should also be effective in solving the current problems faced on the highways.
The system should be easily adaptable to any motorway and should be cost-effective. The set objectives which include, decongestion, countering pollution, providing weather information, and ensuring safety should be given the first priority (Carlson 2010). Enlisted below are some of the main components which comprise the smart motorway system.
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