Victorian managed-motorway almost complete

Those who have invested in fleet software know the benefits technology can bring to a business. The Australian government also understands the advantages of software on local roads.

Announced in the 2011-12 budget, the Australian government initiated plans to install high-tech software along major Aussie thoroughfares as part of the National Smart Managed Motorways Program.

Now one of these projects - the M1 West Gate Freeway - is due to be completed. On Saturday, March 15, the last three of the eleven proposed overhead gantries will be lifted into place. These gantries will hold technology designed to manage traffic flow and improve travel times along the busy freeway.

VicRoads M80 Upgrade Director Trevor Boyd explained that once the final gantry was in place, work can begin on bringing the electronic management system up to speed.

"The overhead electronic signs will show drivers which lanes to use and help them adjust their speed limits to suit driving conditions. CCTV cameras will also provide live footage direct to the VicRoads Traffic Management Centre," Mr Boyd said in a March 13 media release.

Forecast to be operational by mid-2014, the system West Gate Freeway is expected to be completely integrated with the existing technology on the M1 east of Williamstown Road as well as that proposed for the M80 Ring Road, which should be encouraging news for any fleet manager operating in Melbourne.

Nationally, similar retrofit projects are underway in Brisbane, on the Bruce Highway, and Sydney, along the M4. If this technology is adopted across Australia, businesses and families stand to benefit from more efficient, faster travel times and safer roads.

"Indeed if applied nationwide, electronic freeway management systems have the potential to greatly reduce congestion and save Australian families and businesses more than $500 million a year," Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said when the West Gate Freeway project was launched on June 17, 2013.