A consortium seeks to improve road safety in Adelaide by using a mobile phone network to send warning signals to drivers.
The South Australian government, Cohda Wireless and Telstra developed an alert system that emits audible signals to drivers. The group expects the system to be integrated into vehicles, while cyclists can use it by placing their phones on handlebars. Pedestrians can also use the technology through their phones, as well.
The technology provides a huge potential to enhance road safety, whether for cars equipped with roof racks for 4WD vehicles or simply for those that stroll along sidewalks. Cohda CEO Paul Gray believes it would reduce the number of accidents, partly because some people fail to look around their surroundings while using their phones.
Drivers can also benefit from the technology since distractions also happen while they are inside the car. The new safety features come at a good time: self-driving technology is gaining traction and could soon be common on Australian roads.
Hakan Eriksson, Telstra chief technology officer, said that the new alert system particularly helps by being connected to the brakes of a car or by making it impossible for the rider to open doors when a cyclist or another car is close behind.
Trucks are also expected to be equipped with automated technology, which can take place in some parts of Australia in less than 20 years. In Victoria, for instance, the state’s 30-year infrastructure strategy will support research and development initiatives for self-driving trucks. The new alert system could be used to make sure self-driving vehicles remain safe while on the road.
Technology can be both beneficial and harmful depending on its use. For road safety, people should realise that using mobile phones without paying attention to surroundings is risky not just for themselves, but also to others at the same time.