TCA releases updated telematics IVU specification

Transport Certification Australia (TCA) has released an update to the Telematics In-Vehicle Unit (IVU) Functional and Technical Specification.

“The updated Specification reflects changes in national and international standards, feedback from industry, and the growing number of apps supported by Telematics IVUs,” said TCA Chief Executive Officer, Chris Koniditsiotis.

“Telematics IVUs, be they built into a vehicle or aftermarket, are increasingly being used as a technical and communications ‘hub’ within a vehicle, which connect and support multiple systems and driver devices.

“The Specification can be used across transport modes, supports multiple uses consistent ISO 15638/TARV and enables interoperability.

“It means end-users don’t need to install separate, stand-alone devices to perform individual functions, significantly reducing costs by avoiding the need to support numerous stand-alone devices.

“Critically, the Specification meets the requirements of regulatory telematics apps which can improve productivity and safety.

“Despite the expectations of stakeholders, not all in-vehicle devices deliver when it comes to accuracy, security and integrity.

“Put simply, not all telematics hardware is created equal.”

For this reason, TCA says the Telematics In-Vehicle Unit (IVU) Functional and Technical Specification is not intended only for technology providers, but can be used in different ways depending on stakeholder needs.

For example, the end-user can use the Specification to establish whether their current in-vehicle technologies meet the requirement, or to make better-informed decisions when procuring Telematics IVUs.

“TCA is happy to assist purchasers and end-users with any queries they may have with respect to the Specification, or in comparing different IVU types,” Koniditsiotis said.

A copy of the Specification can be obtained by visiting

TCA will take an active involvement in driving intelligent multimodal technology solutions across the integrated exhibition and conference of MEGATRANS2018.

On-Board Mass system uptake continues

Transport Certification Australia (TCA), the national government body responsible for providing assurance in the use of telematics and related intelligent technologies, has announced it has received five applications for type-approval of On-Board Mass (OBM) Systems.

In May this year, TCA released two specifications in launching the new OBM System program to join the growing suite of performance based specifications within the nationally agreed National Telematics Framework; The Interconnectivity of Telematics In-Vehicle Unit (IVU) with Other Systems Functional and Technical Specification and the OBM System Functional and
Technical Specification.

“The number of applications we have already received since May 2017 is significant because it paves the way for establishing an open technology market for the supply of OBM Systems. This ensures that end-users will be provided with more choice, competitive pricing and innovative technology,” said TCA Chief Executive Officer, Chris Koniditsiotis.

According to the TCA, suppliers of OBM Systems recognise that TCA type-approval means their product offerings can be recognised across a diverse range of policy areas, regulators and industry sectors.

“Applications for OBM System type-approval must meet both specifications along with a probity and financial assessment,” Koniditsiotis said.

“This represents a major step forward in establishing performance-based outcomes for the accuracy, integrity, scalability and interoperability of OBM systems which can satisfy the needs of both industry and government.

“The National Telematics Framework provides for a common platform that permits the OBM system type-approval to support multiple policy outcomes. This ensures industry investment is scalable and interoperable to accommodate existing and future needs.

“Type-approval creates a level playing field across comparable systems, but importantly, also allows suppliers to differentiate their product offerings to meet different customer and/or industry needs. TCA recognises that there are often many ways to achieve an outcome.

“Thus, type-approval fosters innovation and best practice and importantly it promotes competition and choice for end-users.

“This approach is central to the National Telematics Framework, which provides a marketplace of certified services and type-approved hardware and systems which offer assurance to industry and government alike.”

TCA Weigh-in-Motion Forum a success

Transport Certification Australia (TCA) has deemed its Weigh-In-Motion (WIM) Forum a success, with over 70 delegates in attendance.

“Attendees included road managers, policy makers, regulators, researchers, transport operators, WIM suppliers, On-Board (OBM) suppliers and telematics providers,” said TCA Chief Executive Officer and President of the International Society for Weigh-In-Motion (ISWIM), Chris Koniditsiotis.

The Forum explored how mass data is being collected from a variety of in-road and in-vehicle systems, the growing dependence on mass information for infrastructure management, maintenance and investment planning, and compliance management, and how WIM and OBM systems are being used to support productivity and safety reforms.

Speakers from Department of Transport and Main Roads Queensland, New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services, VicRoads, Austroads, the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) and the National Transport Commission (NTC) delivered presentations, highlighting the diversity of the theme.

The common theme from the Forum was that mass data has multiple sources, and multiple uses, and how a standardised approach for the collection and exchange of data can further optimise road infrastructure utilisation and planning, TCA said.

The Forum also reportedly highlighted how On-Board Mass (OBM) Systems are driving improved productivity outcomes for heavy vehicle freight, following the recent release of the Australian Standard for Bridge Design Loads (AS 5100.2:2017).

“The bridge design standard specifically recognises how the use of OBM Systems, when used with the Intelligent Access Program (IAP), allows infrastructure managers to reduce load factors for bridges,” Koniditsiotis said.

“By having a better understanding of vehicle loads (through OBM Systems) and the number of vehicle movements (through the IAP), bridges are now effectively being ‘re-engineered’ for higher mass loads, without capital investment or maintenance expenditure.”

Forum participants developed a shortlist of initiatives to progress the use of WIM and OBM technologies, TCA said.

“A strong theme from the Forum was the need to have national standardisation of data and interoperability of mass data, to support the growing use of data for the compliance management functions by regulators and road managers, but also planners, pavements and bridge engineers, policy analysts, and transport operators – and more beyond,” Koniditsiotis said.

“A summary of actionable items will be published, and will form the basis of collaborative work programs to potential partner organisations, beneficiaries.”