Data visualisations to revolutionise the roads

By on 9 June, 2021

A National Freight Data Hub screenshot showing traffic levels on Melbourne’s suburban roads. Courtesy NFDH.

The federal government has launched a prototype National Freight Data Hub (NFDH) website that uses truck telematics to visualise road congestion and traffic volumes.

“The Hub features interactive insights and uses cutting-edge geospatial visualisation tools so industry and governments get a national picture of freight movements,” said NFDH Director, Georgia O’Cianain.

“It showcases how we can make better use of current data to answer our enduring freight questions, such as what freight is being moved — and when and where.

The data services contract for the NFDH was awarded to mapping and geospatial firm, Geoplex.

“The Geoplex team used the best spatial and analytical tools in an agile and user-friendly method to deliver open access to freight data,” said Geoplex Business Manager Danny Haipola.

“It was a great experience for us to work collaboratively with the NFDH team to realise the national vision for the Hub.

“The team was able to bring together freight data from many sources and allow us to work on solutions to visualise this freight data and make it available to stakeholders and the public.”

The Hub shows congestion insights, the number of trucks and containers on the road, roadworks, border restrictions and rest stops.

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport, Scott Buchholz, said the website is a first step towards demonstrating the Hub’s potential as “a game-changer for the Australian freight and supply chain industry”.

The NFDH website “will enable road users and governments to develop strategies for managing the effects of congestion,” said Toll’s Head of Innovation, Peter Carney. “The maps will assist drivers in planning their routes, because knowing where not to drive is as important as knowing where to drive.

“The prototype website has exceeded expectations,” added iMOVE Managing Director, Ian Christensen. “The National Freight Data Hub is a crucially important initiative and iMOVE is eager to continue working with government and businesses to embrace data and increase information sharing for improved freight productivity.”

The government announced a further $16.5 million in funding over four years in the 2021–22 Budget to enhance the Hub and capitalise on the value of enhanced freight data.

“Over the next four years we will work with industry and governments to make these data samples more complete, more up date, and more useful for decision makers,” said O’Cianain.

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