Sentinel - a subsidiary of Sentinel Geosystems which develops a safety camera database and distributes Road Angel devices - has been working closely with CRA since March this year to access and develop the first live Australian demonstration of traffic reports and other traveller information broadcast over Transport Protocol Experts Group (TPEG) Traffic using digital radio technology.
And Sentinel Content intends to go beyond traffic information; “You will also get real-time petrol pricing, not just where you are, but where you are going,” said Sentinel Content’s General Manager, Danny Woolard. “And when you get there you can get information ahead of time about how many parking spots are left in a car park as well as accommodation pricing and vacancies.”
Sentinel has been working with German technology partner GEWI, to deliver the technical TPEG Digital Radio standard.
Source traffic information for Road Sense includes real-time data from Australia’s road authorities and independent sources of road incident data. Sentinel’s journalistic traffic editors and data entry staff based in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, also check and collate information for accuracy and quality as incidents occur on the road network. The information also includes planned and scheduled events that affect traffic flow.
Incident vs flow data
Sentinel Content wants to position itself as a contender to Intelematics Australia which has deployed a RDS-TMC traffic system. However, Sentinel Content essentially delivers incident data while Intelematics relies more heavily on flow data. Intelematics most important source of raw traffic flow data is derived from the loop sensor network embedded in the road pavement on the approach to signalized intersections. In Australia virtually all urban - and many regional - signalized intersections are networked to central traffic light control systems in each state. Intelematics also supplements the sensor-based data with information from probe vehicles.