Telematics and transport: Transport Certification Australia

Gavin Hill, TCA General Manager Strategic Development, outlines the potential for telematics in waste management.

With the rise in big data, global positioning systems and telecommunications, the ability to plan, monitor operations and mitigate risks in the supply chain is becoming more accessible.

That’s according to Australian telematics body Transport Certification Australia (TCA), which helps manage information to reduce costs and increase safety for the transport industry.

The national government body provides advice, accreditation and administration services in the use of telematics and intelligent technologies, spanning hardware, services, providers, applications and programs.

TCA is responsible for the National Telematics Framework which provides a nationally agreed upon platform to support current and emerging needs of government, industry and end-users.

The National Telematics Framework – also known internationally as ISO15638 – houses a growing number of interoperable telematics applications, which are being leveraged by the broader transport sector. This includes national programs and applications such as its Intelligent Access Program, Intelligent Speed Compliance and On-Board Mass monitoring.

Telematics is the branch of information and communications technology that deals with the transmission of data, which can monitor the location, movements and status of vehicles.

Gavin Hill, TCA General Manager Strategic Development, says the government body plays a key role in ensuring end-users have choice.

“All too often we see procurement decisions made without consideration to current and emerging developments – including the growing use of telematics in legislative, regulatory and contractual frameworks,” Gavin says.

Gavin says waste transporters are still making decisions which can unwittingly lock them into systems which don’t anticipate emerging needs.

“Technology and digital systems have become ubiquitous and more integrated, and continue to move at an increasingly rapid pace. As a government organisation, our role is to manage outcomes through the use of telematics, and avoid unnecessary costs and duplication of equipment.”

Gavin says the National Telematics Framework has an enabled market of certified services and type-approved hardware from multiple telematics providers. TCA encourages more competition, as Gavin says this means more choice for the transport sector, in addition to ongoing reductions in costs. He adds that as more operators turn to certified telematics to demonstrate compliance, the ability to use data from these systems is becoming crucial.

The Intelligent Access Program (IAP) is one of the agency’s applications that it administers nationally for governments (states and federal), providing improved access to the Australian road network.

Since going live in 2009, more than 4200 heavy vehicles have been enrolled in the program by transport operators. But Gavin says this is the tip of the iceberg, with service providers informing TCA that there are 32,000 telematics units installed in heavy vehicles across the country that meet, or can meet, the requirements agreed upon by government and industry. He says these systems are integrated through a telematics hub, which can perform multiple functions.

TCA assesses its systems and service provisions against performance-based standards, including the level of risk expected on the road. In May, TCA commenced assessment On-Board Mass systems, which can allow operators to carry greater loads, use innovative vehicle combinations, and access the network and its infrastructure, which would otherwise be off limits.

One such example is the access arrangements in Victoria regarding high productivity freight vehicles. Service providers certified by TCA help operators increase their waste volumes between trips in a network of approved Victorian roads. Gavin says as government introduces new reforms, TCA ensures its advice and processes are up to date with the minimum requirements.

Stakeholders across the entire supply chain will continue to work together on planning, implementing and controlling the flow and storage of goods and services. Compliance, performance-based standards and safety are hot topics set to be discussed at next year’s inaugural MEGATRANS2018 event, and Gavin says he is looking forward to engaging with the waste sector as an exhibitor.

“We want to wave our flag to the waste sector: there are opportunities that they can be taking advantage of. It’s a quid pro quo arrangement for government and the waste industry, and TCA manages that delicate balance.

“In fact, transport operators in the waste sector may already be fitted with type-approved telematics hardware, or even enrolled in certified programs administered by TCA for other regulatory purposes.”

MEGATRANS2018 – an exciting new international trade event – will bridge the gaps between these industry segments that have previously been operating in isolation. The show makes its debut 10 to 12 May, 2018, at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, based in the heart of one of Australia’s major logistics hubs and one of the world’s most livable cities – Melbourne. Connecting the Australian and international supply chain, the three-day expo, delivered in partnership with the Victorian Government, will bring together those who plan, implement and control the efficient and effective forward flow and storage of goods, services and related information between the point of origin and point of consumption.

Read the full story on page 40 of Issue 14.