TAPPING INTO DATA: Gavin Hill is making a case for drivers’ telematics information to be utilised by infrastructure engineers.
TAPPING INTO DATA: Gavin Hill is making a case for drivers’ telematics information to be utilised by infrastructure engineers.

Importance of data collection in building better roads

THE importance of data collection and management, from a road infrastructure perspective, cannot be underestimated in today’s dynamic environment.

With the technology in the trucks we drive rapidly evolving, the chance to harvest any generated data increases the ability to create road systems which work best for those who use them.

Gavin Hill, of Transport Certification Australia, who was due to speak at this week’s postponed Sydney Build Expo 2020, said telematics can make a difference to the design of the roads we travel on every day.

The popularity of telematics systems in fleet trucks, allows a company to see from a base location the speed at which a truck is travelling, the time it has taken to travel a particular distance, the places a truck will stop at, among other information.

Normally, this data would be deemed ‘dark data’, information which would only be of use to the fleet owner.

Mr Hill is making a case for this data to be utilised by infrastructure engineers, to allow for better infrastructure design for the fleets who would benefit from releasing this information.

According to Mr Hill, a key foundation which is necessary to support any data (be it telematics data, or any other information for that matter) is to have structured consent mechanisms provide clarity to road users on what data is being collected, how it will be used, who will use the data, and how the data will be stored and destroyed.

Data expert Gavin Hill.
Data expert Gavin Hill.

Mr Hill does point out that due to the fact that data is valuable, both in terms of its collection and the information that can be derived from its analysis, so there will be a need for incentives, (or removal of disincentives) to share data.

When asked about if the data collected could possibly be sold to private firms Mr Hill told Big Rigs, “Broader questions about data and analysis being made available to other (private) parties ultimately depends on a combination of (a) what incentives are offered to the road user, (b) what consent mechanisms are offered and (c) whether road users are willing to enter into those arrangements.”

He said this information is already being collected, it’s just a matter of being able to get that information to the correct people.

Big Rigs


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