Drivers to get real-time information on Sydney roads

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Drivers to get real-time information on Sydney roads

State kicks off planning for 'smart motorways'.

The NSW roads authority will broadcast real-time advice on traffic conditions to Sydney drivers via ten new electronic messaging signs to be installed at key locations across the city's arterial road network.

The real-time information scheme received $9 million in new funding in today's state budget, on top of $2 million already spent. It forms part of the state's strategy to target congestion and 'pinch points' on Sydney roads.

The variable message signs (VMS) will deliver travel time estimates and dynamic updates of traffic accidents to help motorists choose the best route to their destination.

The allocation will also pay for CCTV installations across 20 intersections that will be monitored by members of the Transport Management Centre for accidents or traffic gridlock.

Roads and Maritime Services is also preparing to announce the winning mobile apps developed as part of a traffic management hackathon held at the end of last year. The top candidates will be assisted in getting their apps to market with access to data, start up funding and business mentoring.  

Apps in the running include tools to estimate travel times on different roadways in real time, and a loading zone locator aimed at helping tradespeople find somewhere to park. High school students from Canberra received special mention from RMS officials for developing a tool for Google Glass.

The RMS also received $15.2 million in 2015-16 to continue planning for its 'smart roadways' scheme, which is expected to reach the hundreds of millions of dollars in total expenditure once complete.

The initiative is likely to see electronic screens installed above new on and off ramps on the M4 motoway, managing traffic flowing in and out of lanes in real time, directed by computerised traffic modelling.

The project, which will also include ramp construction and other physical infrastructure, is expected to reduce peak hour travel times by 15 minutes.

The same systems are expected to be built into the new Westconnex and Northconnex roadways.

Melbourne and many international cities have already installed similar traffic management systems.

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