Technology trial transmits safety message

Technology trial transmits safety message

Craig Foss

Craig Foss

Transport minister Simon Bridges and associate transport minister Craig Foss have announced a trial of Bluetooth technology to deliver audio safety messages to rental car drivers driving between Christchurch and Queenstown.

The trial, which started on July 2, is being overseen by the NZ Transport Agency in partnership with HMI Technologies and GO Rentals. It will entail the sending of safety messages from roadside transmitters via Bluetooth to devices fitted in GO rental vehicles.

“This innovative trial shows how intelligent technology has the potential to improve the safety and resilience of our existing transport network. If the trial is successful, the initiative may continue along the route and be implemented in other parts of New Zealand,” says Bridges.

“The New Zealand-designed transmitters are in remote locations where there is no mobile coverage. This feature, and the use of Bluetooth technology, makes the trial the first of its kind in New Zealand for in-vehicle messaging.

“It’s exciting to see a combined government-industry approach to solving technology challenges unique to the New Zealand’s roading environment.”

Up to 50 devices, capable of receiving more than 70 safety and real time messages along both directions of the route, will be installed in the rental vehicles.

Foss points out that while the trial does not specifically target visiting drivers, Visiting Driver Signature project partners, led by the NZ Transport Agency, will assess whether this service could be added to their suite of safety measures.

“This technology has the potential to improve safety outcomes in remote locations, which are drawcards for many overseas visitors,” adds Foss.

“If the trial is successful, a second step could be to create a mobile phone application that allows communication with the vehicle’s internal audio system, making the initiative more accessible to all road users.

“The NZ Transport Agency is also investigating integrating the system more seamlessly with a vehicle’s internal GPS system.”

Audio has been chosen as the safest method of delivering the messages, which range from safety reminders about New Zealand’s road conditions and road rules to travel times and break journey destinations.

The trial, which started on 2 July, is being overseen by the NZ Transport Agency in partnership with HMI Technologies and GO Rentals. It will entail the sending of safety messages from roadside transmitters via Bluetooth to devices fitted in GO rental vehicles.

“This innovative trial shows how intelligent technology has the potential to improve the safety and resilience of our existing transport network. If the trial is successful, the initiative may continue along the route and be implemented in other parts of New Zealand,” says Bridges.

“The New Zealand-designed transmitters are in remote locations where there is no mobile coverage. This feature, and the use of Bluetooth technology, makes the trial the first of its kind in New Zealand for in-vehicle messaging.

“It’s exciting to see a combined government-industry approach to solving technology challenges unique to the New Zealand’s roading environment.”

Up to 50 devices, capable of receiving more than 70 safety and real time messages along both directions of the route, will be installed in the rental vehicles.

Foss points out that while the trial does not specifically target visiting drivers, Visiting Driver Signature project partners, led by the NZ Transport Agency, will assess whether this service could be added to their suite of safety measures.

“This technology has the potential to improve safety outcomes in remote locations, which are drawcards for many overseas visitors,” adds Foss.

“If the trial is successful, a second step could be to create a mobile phone application that allows communication with the vehicle’s internal audio system, making the initiative more accessible to all road users.

“The NZ Transport Agency is also investigating integrating the system more seamlessly with a vehicle’s internal GPS system.”

Audio has been chosen as the safest method of delivering the messages, which range from safety reminders about New Zealand’s road conditions and road rules to travel times and break journey destinations.

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