Smart freeways are a technological and engineering advancement that will change the way many drivers get around Perth. Perth’s new smart freeway is already in operation, but expansions are happening that will help provide various benefits for road users in Western Australia.
This guide shares everything you need to know about Western Australia’s first smart freeway and how this new road type works if you’ve never used one before. If you’re unsure or need some help on how to navigate this new road type, get in touch with the team at Eclipse Driving School – we’ll be more than happy to help!
What is a Smart Freeway?
There are a lot of smart technologies that are being used across many industries, including both products and services that better the quality of living for the user. This smart technology has been used on the smart freeway, Perth, which delivers reliable journeys and provides congestion relief and a safer driving experience.
A smart freeway is used not only here in Perth but successfully around the world to help manage congestion issues and improve safety. Using Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), a smart freeway helps monitor traffic conditions and makes adjustments accordingly.
How Does a Smart Freeway Work?
The Intelligent Transport Systems that create the smart freeways in today’s world use in-road sensors, CCTV cameras and various detection radars that provide data for the Road Network Operations Centre.
For this centre, the ITS provides eyes and ears on the ground to assess traffic performance and to make changes appropriately. These changes could be reducing speed limits to help reduce congestion or closing lanes when there’s been a road accident.
Smart freeway technology is being utilised in many different countries around the world to provide a better driving experience. With more vehicles on the road, the need for these smart freeways is crucial.
How Do the Overhead Electronic Signs Work?
The overhead electronic signs act as a form of communication to the road users in real-time. Operators monitoring the traffic flow and congestion on the road at the time will make informed decisions on speed reductions and lane closures as and when it’s needed.
Using smart freeway technology, if congestion is building, the in-road sensors will alert operators, who will drop the speed limit accordingly. It helps slow vehicles down to allow for the traffic further up ahead to clear off in good time.
These overhead electronic signs are used actively along the freeway as desired to help traffic join lanes where incidents have occurred and close them where required.
For speed limit changes, the red circle will appear with the speed requested in said circle. The red circles will flash and remain flashing until the speed sign returns to the normal speed for the road.
What to Do If You Break Down On the Smart Freeway?
The freeway has six emergency lane stopping bays that provide safety and refuge to those with issues with their vehicles. In the event of a breakdown, these emergency bays are constantly monitored by the Road Network Operations Centre staff, who will respond quickly.
The freeway here has 24/7 CCTV and Incident Detection Systems to spot a vehicle in a bay and then has its own dedicated Incident Response Service operating around the clock to send out help and support where needed.
How Can the Smart Freeway Benefit Motorists?
For new drivers on the smart freeway in Perth, you’ll be able to get from A to B with ease. This project is helping many Western Australian citizens get around quicker and more safely.
The technologies that this freeway uses will change our experiences as drivers for the better. The government of Western Australia has taken the initiative that so many other countries are doing now when it comes to maintaining safety and improving traffic flow.
This project is also expanding with both the Kwinana freeway northbound and the Mitchell freeway southbound.
Kwinana freeway northbound
The Kwinana freeway from Roe Highway to Narrows Bridge saves up to 10 minutes of journey time for drivers. With new traffic signals at five northbound on-ramps, it’s provided with an additional lane from Canning Highway to the Narrows.
Trained staff manage the traffic on the freeway and entry ramps to increase safety and improve travel times.
Mitchell freeway southbound
The Mitchell freeway is another part of the project that will run southbound and have the same technologies featured on the existing roads. With 16 coordinated ramp signals from Hester Avenue up to Vincent Street, they improve journey quality and congestion relief for nearly 200,000 motorists a day.
You can check out more about this new project on the Mitchell Freeway here.
Ready to Tackle Perth’s Smart Freeways?
Smart freeways are definitely the future of roads, particularly ones like the freeway that tend to get easily congested and where there are high volumes of traffic. Hopefully, many motorists in Western Australia will benefit from what these new smart freeways provide.
If you’re struggling with the new road systems, get in touch with Eclipse Driving school to book a driving lesson. We’ll help you understand and navigate Perth’s smart freeway so you feel safe and confident on local WA roads.
*Feature image source: Smart Freeways website – Government of Western Australia.
Frequently Asked Questions
Statistically speaking, they are safer than any other kind of road. With congestion relief provided, it reduces the chances of an accident occurring, and the emergency stopping bays provided are within easy reach if needed.