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Traffic Control in a Smart City

How long do you think you should spend commuting to and from work? Ten minutes? Forty-five minutes? In March 2016, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull unveiled his vision for Smart Cities, which involved plans for “30-minute cities”, where people would take no longer than 30 minutes to commute to work each day. But how can traffic be controlled to achieve this in such big cities, especially where many jobs exist in the CBD and the urban sprawl has caused many to rely on personal vehicles to get around?

Our Cars Are Exhausted

The 30-minute city, as described in Mr Turnbull’s Smart Cities Plan, is a city where “no matter where you live, you can easily access the places you need to visit on a daily basis.” However, one of the biggest setbacks in achieving Mr Turnbull’s vision is the widespread use of cars as a means of getting to work each day.

At the moment, less than 10% of people take public transport or walk to their jobs, so we need to look at why these options aren’t more appealing to the working population. At WARP Group, we think one way to encourage people to leave their cars at home is to make public transport the more attractive option. This can be achieved by making public transport schedules frequent and convenient, improving security on services and stressing the money that people could save by leaving their car at home.

If you have more people using public transport, or even better, cycling or walking to their jobs, you will reduce congestion on the roads and commute times will improve.

Smart Cities Need Smart Traffic Management

The idea of the 30-minute city comes from a broader idea of “smart cities” – cities or communities that are designed to be more sustainable and efficient. The term “smart city” is one that is connected to the internet of things (IOT) and therefore, it could be defined as a community of any size, part of a larger unit, that employs the IOT to respond to the communities changing needs, collaborates with other communities and the like.

Smart cities aim to:

  • Invest in the cities’ infrastructure;
  • Coordinate and drive smarter city policy, and, most importantly;
  • Drive the take up of smart technology, to improve the sustainability of our cities and drive innovation.

The use of technology in traffic control plans leads to smarter traffic management, with the use of things such as CCTV footage to detect incidents, variable message signs to warn drivers of incidents and hazards, and even distraction detection to identify fatigued or distracted drivers.

Take Note, Australia                         

Australia can take notes from cities such as Amsterdam, who is leading the way as a smart city. Amsterdam already has its own ‘virtual traffic manager’, which allows a person to view any road in the area, through a combination of cameras, sensors and vehicle detection.

Amsterdam has seen some great improvements in their mobility and transport, with:

  • 32% of traffic movement in Amsterdam is by bike
  • 63% of Amsterdam’s inhabitants use their bike on daily basis;
  • There were nearly 29,000 registered electrical car owners in 2016; and
  • Since 2008, car sharing has increased 376%

While smart traffic management is a start to making our cities more efficient, there is still a long way to go. The next step the roll out of Mr Turnbull’s Smart Cities plan, which will see Sydney revitalised to become Australia’s first smart city. This will be an exciting time for the nation, with other metropolitan and regional cities following suit to become safer and more efficient over time. At WARP Group, we have 20 years of experience in providing and executing traffic control plans to make our cities and towns safer. Make sure you contact WARP Group today for more information on how our traffic management and traffic control plans can help you!

Smart Traffic Management

Technology dominates the best part of our lives, from our smartphones to our home appliances that can be controlled via an app, so it was only a matter of time before it became a part of the transportation and traffic system too. So how has technology impacted the way we commute every day?  

Intelligent Transport in 2017

Welcome to 2017, where some new cars warn us of hazards or avoid them entirely with in-built sensors, some answer our commands via voice control, and others can park or drive themselves. This kind of incredible technology is expanded upon and manipulated to create Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), which work to improve the safety of those on the road. But how do these systems actually work?

Vehicles with ITS technology are even smarter than those that drive or park themselves, in that they’re connected to the internet. These systems can communicate with each other in real-time, relaying information from personal vehicles to warn other vehicles about hazards, or via traffic management systems to update drivers on road conditions, communicate speed variations or detect distracted drivers!

Traffic Management of the Future is Here

The aim of ITS Technology is to improve safety, reduce costs and find more efficient ways of communicating and commuting. The technology is already being used in to solve traffic issues in Western Australia, in areas such as:

  • Traffic and Incident Monitoring: CCTV footage and vehicle detectors are used to detect incidents and respond to them in the most efficient way to help ease congestion.
  • Variable Message Signs: Used to warn drivers of upcoming incidents, severe weather, long weekend Double-Demerit Points, upcoming events where vehicle routes may change and general congestion.
  • GPS & Navigation Systems: Drivers now have access to real-time updates about the route they are taking, with the option to take other quick routes if an incident occurs and causes congestion.
  • Rail Management Systems: ITS allows for controllers to turn data regarding train location and speed into efficient and reliable train schedules.
  • Distraction Detection: Helping to identify drivers who are suffering from fatigue, or who are inattentive or distracted, through specialised imaging and measuring of things such as eye and head position

Why Invest in ITS Technology?

The biggest reason to invest time, money and resources in ITS technology comes from a safety perspective. With metropolitan areas attracting more and more people to live and work, the congestion on our roads will only continue to increase. ITS is important for advising and managing congestion, preventing accidents from occurring in the first place and smoothing traffic flow if an incident does take place

With the Modern Era’s thirst for 24/7 information, ITS technology assists us daily by providing real-time data to help us be more efficient and productive on our travels. But productivity does not mean being able to check the emails on your phone, drink a coffee and paint your nails as you drive, it means being able to drive with a smaller chance of having a fatigue-related incident.

Other benefits of the technology include reduced costs and environmental performance, with less money being spent on vehicle repairs and fuel consumption from sitting at between 5-10kmph on the Freeway for an hour in the morning and evening, and less gas emissions from your car as you (hopefully) spend less time on the road.

It’s an exciting time for the tech world, and it’s intriguing to think how technology will continue to mould and change the way we understand and undertake traffic management in the future. With 20 years in traffic management, you can be sure that WARP Group will be leading the way in any technological advances that improve traffic management in Australia! Contact WARP Group today for more information on how our traffic management can help you!

Maybe It’s Time For A Career Change

Are you sick of feeling bored at work? Or feel like your current job isn’t really leading to anything? Do you want something that is a little more exciting and has a real impact on the community? Then perhaps it is time for you to consider a career in traffic control. This blog discusses Perth’s current job market, what it is a traffic controller does, and how you can go about making this career change, by applying for WARP Group’s traffic control course.

The current job market in Perth

Perth is said to have Australia’s weakest job market at present, meaning that people are jumping into jobs they don’t really want merely for financial security. These are the types of jobs they quickly grow tired of, as they don’t feel like they’re having any sort of impact on people. Traffic controllers, on the other hand, are in a position where they are making a real impact as they are committed to the safety of those within the community.

What does a traffic controller do?

Traffic controllers are used at events and throughout construction projects in order to effectively and efficiently direct traffic. They have a complete understanding of traffic management and how this can have a direct effect on the overall success of an event or project and showcase this understanding through the work they do. It is expected that traffic controllers know that traffic management is far more than just directing traffic.

Traffic controllers must be committed to safety. They can be responsible for activities such as merging traffic or directing vehicles around dangerous or hazardous areas. For this reason, they are fully trained on road safety and know how to respond in any emergency situation.

Basic Worksite Traffic Management & Traffic Control course

It is a requirement that all traffic controllers have completed a traffic control course, such as the Basic Worksite Traffic Management & Traffic Control (BWTM & TC) course offered by WARP. Those who partake in the three-day course and successfully complete the mandatory practical training and assessments receive a Main Roads WA Accreditation card and certificate, allowing them to work as a traffic controller on any main road.

The course consists of both practical and theoretical components. From traffic management plans, cautionary signs, communication, risk identification and prevention, to directing and responding in emergency situations, students will learn everything they need to know in order to begin working as a traffic controller. Courses, such as the BWTM & TC course offered by WARP, are no longer just advantageous, they are a legal requirement and nobody can control traffic on a main road without the skills and theory taught throughout the duration of the course.

If you are thinking it is time for a new job, then maybe being a traffic controller is right for you. By undertaking a traffic control course, you will have all the qualifications you need to get started and make the first step towards a rewarding career change that allows you to have the impact on the community. For all courses contact WTA – www.wta.edu.au

Contact WARP Group today!

Traffic Management: What’s to It?

There’s an abundance of reasons why you or your business may require traffic management. Whether it be road works, construction or an event, WARP has your back, WARP understands partnership. At WARP, we know traffic management is not a guessing game. It can take out of the box thinking and novel design to deliver consistent solutions to our expanding list of satisfied clients. So, what’s involved with traffic management?

Consultation:
In delivering a first-class service, it’s important to realise that each project is different and the approach, strategy and design should be pragmatic. At WARP, not only do we recognise this, it is the backbone of the service we deliver. We enjoy meeting with our clients to discuss their individual requirements to effectively and efficiently provide a transparent understanding of the project costs and requirements. In the traffic management industry, no two projects are the same and it’s by embracing this that we are able to go above and beyond with our service.

The planning
In fulfilling the requirements of clients, effective and accurate planning must occur. In order for us to make sure this is the case at WARP, our in-house CAD technicians use their experience to design traffic management plans using the latest CAD software. Not only are these plans effective, but they are efficient as well! We come up with a plan as fast as we possibly can, communicate it with our client and make changes wherever there is a requirement.

Getting the job done
While consultation and planning is crucial, what matters the most is getting the job done on the day. Here at WARP, we have skilled and experienced staff that will perform their duties in a professional and friendly manner. There are a number of laws and legislation associated with traffic control and management, so it’s important to have a developed and focused interest in this. We at WARP have been doing this for 20 years and continue to be at the forefront of new and emerging strategies, plant & equipment.

WARP will be on time, deliver the service promised at the price agreed, we will do what we say will do. Our commitment is to provide this service with a spirit of partnership and transparency and our communication channels will ensure a smooth and productive relationship from the very start.

As leaders in the traffic management industry since 1997, we at WARP are experts in all phases of the traffic management process. We display strong and honest communications, a fresh attitude and a service that is versatile to suit your requirements. Contact WARP today for all your traffic management needs and get the job done safely and on time!

Driverless Vehicles

Driverless vehicles are hitting the road in countries all around the world. It won’t be long before your taxi will pull up with nobody inside, trucks will drive themselves across the country, and your morning commute on public transport will be passengers only.

The autonomous vehicle industry is booming and it means exciting changes for Australian passengers and businesses alike. For the road traffic control industry, the growth of driverless vehicles could see machinery going autonomous, freeing up a driver to increase the crew’s efficiency.

According to industry estimates by 2020 the driverless vehicle industry will be worth more than $100 billion worldwide. Already some companies are exploring how autonomous vehicles can deliver packages, haul material and transport people.

What is driverless technology?
In simple terms autonomous vehicles use a bunch of sensors to tell a computer program how to drive. The sensors register light, distance, speed, sound and direction which feeds in to a program designed to interpret all those things like a human would. It is a similar concept to reversing sensors or automatic wipers.
Driverless technology is not quite road ready for you to sit back and watch a movie while you wave to Sydney’s traffic controllers hard at work. There are some cars like Tesla’s Model S which feature autopilot functionality, a precursor to fully autonomous vehicles. These still require a human driver to be touching the wheel but take over some of the controls at low speeds.

The road to the future
Although still fairly new, driverless vehicles are already revolutionising the way we think about transport and car ownership, boosting the popularity of electric cars in the process. Here are some examples:
• Shared car ownership
Or no car ownership! Autonomous vehicles can be shared between users, because they can drive themselves to the next pickup point.
• Emergency support and road works
What if Sydney’s traffic controllers and emergency workers could partner with data companies to predict where accidents might occur and get there faster?
• Planning and government services
How will we plan for a driverless future? Roads, recharging stations and airspace will all operate differently with the increased presence of robot vehicles.

Benefits and risks
Driverless vehicles will soon make transport more efficient than ever, and ideally safer too. Autonomous trucks will reduce strain on long-haul drivers by taking the wheel on lengthy routes. The technology will allow faster delivery – imagine ordering a pizza and having it delivered in minutes by a driverless car, then carried up to your apartment by a drone! Mercedes-Benz recently unveiled a concept van to do exactly that.
As with any new technology there are kinks to work out before driverless vehicles go mainstream. Machinery is also going driverless which presents its own complications. Take road work machinery; there are so many moving parts like scoops and drills, and their sheer size makes safety the number one issue. Australian roads need to be safe for human and robot drivers alike so companies implementing this technology need to be absolutely sure it will not cause harm.
Cars, buses and trucks are starting to be tested in real life situations and the technology will soon be available to the general public. Autonomous vehicles will innovate the way we live and work in exciting ways.

Keeping You Safe

Busy construction sites and road users can be a hazardous combination, which is why government authorities and large construction companies manage the risks by employing Road Traffic Management specialists to keep things on the move in a safe and controlled environment.

Road Traffic Management is a complex business

Let’s face it, everyone’s in a hurry to get from A to B, and the last thing we want is a hold up.  This is precisely why road management and traffic control is so important. Road Traffic Management is more than a person in a high-vis jacket with a sign, it’s complex and governed by strict rules and regulations. While each State and Territory has its own rules and standards, there are many common themes.

  • Traffic Controllers have responsibilities which include:
  • their personal safety and that of other workers;
  • the safety of other road users; and
  • safely controlling the speed road users and access to and from a work site.

How WARP keeps the traffic flowing

It doesn’t matter if it’s a simple road closure, major civil construction, road works or an emergency, all of these situations call for professional road management to keep people safe.  Whatever the scenario, WARP will have a traffic management plan drawn up by an expert and implemented by one or more of our trained and experienced Traffic Control Officers.

There are many ways to safely slow and direct traffic safely.  These include:

  • warning signs – advising you that there is a hazard ahead
  • personnel with stop – go signs
  • temporary traffic lights
  • temporary road closures and diversions

The important thing for the road user to remember is that a traffic management plan has been put into place with your safety and the safety of others in mind.

Safety is everyone’s responsibility

When it comes to road safety everybody is responsible for keeping themselves and others safe. To do this it’s essential that you obey the directions of the Traffic Control Officers. They will be in direct contact with other people either on site or close by and will know of hazards that may not be immediately obvious to you.

Simple steps to keeping the traffic moving and yourself safe

  • Don’t leave it till the last minute. Slow down as soon as you see there is an event or a hazard ahead.
  • Always obey temporary speed limits and lane changes. Be prepared to stop.
  • Be vigilant. Look out for workers, and keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle ahead. Know your safe stopping distance.
  • Be a hero. Traffic Controllers and worker’s jobs can be a dangerous, keeping your distance and keeping them safe will be much appreciated because you’re helping to make their work place as safe as your own.

At WARP we believe that every worker has the right to go home to their families safely at the end of their working day. Major civil works may be disruptive for a short time but building better towns, cities and roads creates a safer and more enjoyable environment for everyone.

Sydney Gridlock – How To Prepare for the Daily Grind

Anyone who lives in or visits Australia’s largest metropolis knows traffic congestion is getting heavier by the day. Almost every day there are traffic events which cause gridlock. Sustained population growth and the advent of multi-car households, contribute to the level of traffic on NSW roads. In fact, traffic has increased to the point where a simple road traffic accident can result in lane closures on major arterial road and tailbacks for several kilometres on all approaches to the CBD.

The NSW government have recognised this growing issue, and in most cases have implemented strategic infrastructural plans in order to improve the flow of traffic on our metro roads. These projects are done efficiently and effectively, but may cause a delay on your upcoming trip. This minor delay today is one step closer to better roads in the future for us all to enjoy.

Roads are busier and getting from A to B really does take longer

Currently, Sydney residents make 16 million road trips on an average weekday, and 15 million road trips over the weekend. Of those weekday trips, over 70% of them are made during peak hours, making the easing of congestion a major pressure point for commuters, businesses and government.

Roads and Maritime Services figures show that Peak hour speeds on some of Sydney’s major roads have slumped by up to 25km/h in the past two years. Data also reveals Sydney drivers are stuck in rush hour traffic for longer, with the worst afternoon peak – on the M4 Motorway between Concord and Clyde – now spanning six hours, from 2pm to 8pm.

Planning for the disruptions you can predict

There are always disruptions to traffic that can be predicted. These include, major sporting events, big construction projects and road maintenance. Using advance traffic control management services can reduce the impact on the area and help to relieve or prevent traffic jams and hold ups. It’s at times like these, partnering with an experienced Traffic Management Planning company can make all the difference.

There are things which minimise the impact

WARP has experienced traffic management planning staff ready and waiting to assist you to manage practically every Traffic Management scenario imaginable. WARP has the solutions for simple one-day individual works through to highly complex major infrastructure projects involving multiple stages and round the clock working environments. We are there every step of the way to get Australian drivers home safe to their families.

All of our personnel are fully accredited Traffic Controllers with valuable field experience. We are available 24 hours a day – 7 days a week – 365 days a year you can rely on us whatever the circumstance.

WARP regularly carries out emergency response work for the water, electrical, and gas service providers, Local Governments and Main Road contractors. Contact us on 1300 131 204 to discuss how we can help you with our fully integrated traffic management services.