World Congress on Intelligent Transportation Systems, Melbourne 2016

27 October 2016

By Dale

Two weeks ago, over 10,000 people from Australasia and beyond descended on Melbourne for the 2016 World Congress on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). I was fortunate enough to attend with Dave Smith to present on our NZ Transport Agency crowdsourcing research, meet with like-minded people and check out the emerging transport technologies that are predicted to bring transformative change to how we travel.

From a spatial perspective, one of the most interesting sessions was the “Smart Cities” plenary featuring Jack Dangermond as the keynote. While Jack presented nothing new in terms of Esri being a platform for intelligent transport and smart communities, his big announcement was the new partnership between Waze and Esri through the Connected Citizens programme. Both Waze and Esri Australia also had a strong presence at the conference, showing demos and presenting on a range of topics on the role of spatial data and analytics in the transportation area.

The highlight of the congress was the range of demonstrations available. We were lucky to secure a spot on a demonstration of vehicle localisation in a vehicle equipped by Ibeo Automotive. Localisation is the process whereby in-vehicle sensors such as radar and lidar to correctly locate a vehicle in areas where GPS is unreliable, for example in urban Melbourne. 


By locating and referencing the vehicle against reference data, the GPS signal can be corrected and the vehicle’s location mapped correctly. This is vitally important for autonomous vehicles as a difference of 1-2 metres could place a vehicle in the wrong lane, or at worse, on the wrong side of the road. You can see in this image the difference between the GPS position (yellow arrow) and the corrected position (blue box/arrow).

ITSb4Another demonstration I went on was a ride in the Bosch highly automated Tesla development vehicle. On a dedicated loop, we were shown various types of technologies that work together to enable automated driving. This included eye tracking technologies to ensure the driver didn’t fall asleep, and vehicle-to-vehicle communication to alert the driver to approaching hazards. 


ITSc4The Bosch vehicle also relies on high precision TomTom mapping data, including a road centreline, localisation data, 3D layers and associated attributes that help the vehicle decide how to behave in different road environments.


ITSd2Finally, our trip was topped off by being awarded the “Best Technical Paper” for the Asia-Pacific region. A great effort for the research team given the large number of papers presented from this region.

All in all, I’m excited to share my learnings with the Interpret team and the opportunities that ITS offers for spatial industries to develop future innovative transportation solutions.