Traffic Engineering and Vehicle Safety (TEVS)
The group’s work focuses on the development and evaluation of safe road infrastructure, vehicle design and maintenance, transport modal choice, work place safety, autonomous vehicles, and child restraint.
The team is active in project work and in collaborating with industry. Dr David Logan undertook road safety strategy modelling for VicRoads and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) as part of the Towards ZERO action plan. Towards ZERO is a Victorian Government initiative that aims for zero deaths and serious injuries by acknowledging that, as humans, we all make mistakes. Its objective is to reach the target by creating safer roads, safer speeds, safer vehicles and safer people – road users, pedestrians and vehicle buyers.
Other collaborative projects include assisting the TAC on its safety promotion and completing Advanced Driver Assistance System evaluations for Austroads, VicRoads and Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme).
Team member Dr David Logan completed long-term work on modelling to reduce serious road trauma, focussing on the eMETS model developed at MUARC. This approach aims to bring new levels of sophistication to the modelling of the potential serious casualty savings achieved from combinations of countermeasures implemented. The work supports governments involved in effective road safety strategies in Australia, and draws upon best evidence from published literature in each of the Safe System cornerstones to help identify effective solutions for major investment programs targeting key crash areas.
Wire rope barriers
Important TEVS research undertaken has shown how wire rope barriers can prevent severe injuries and death for vehicles that run off the road in rural areas. The study found that wire rope barriers result in significant (87%) reductions in the risk of both serious injuries and death. Consequently, as part of the TAC and VicRoads’ Safe System Road Infrastructure Program, wire rope barriers are now being rolled out along Victoria’s high-risk rural roads, and evaluated in terms of their effectiveness.
Three technical disruptions are impacting on the likely future of private transportation. It has been predicted that future vehicles will be electrically propelled, autonomous (driverless) driven and potentially service-owned. These vehicles could be available within the next 10-15 years and demand seems to suggest they will be popular. The TEVS group has been actively involved in identifying the likely safety benefits of these vehicles and the associated challenges they will bring for future transportation needs, city development, and society generally.