The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) will work with emergency services to facilitate trials of ‘repeater’ devices which transmit navigational signals such as GPS in road tunnels.
Emergency services rely on GPS for navigation and vehicle management but can lose track of vehicles in road tunnels.
The trials will be used to test the technology with a view to establishing a licensing arrangement for the devices.
Repeater devices have been prohibited because they can interfere with GPS signals when not operated properly. The ACMA has amended laws that prohibit the devices so that they can be allowed specifically for the purpose of trials.
Should the trials be successful and the devices licenced for long-term use, the transport sector and general community would also benefit from enhanced in-tunnel navigation capability—including more accurate estimated times of arrival, and earlier warnings about in-tunnel congestion and lane changes.
The trials will take place in road tunnels in Sydney and Melbourne.
The ACMA is also willing to consider applications from other transport authorities that are interested in trialling GPS repeaters in road tunnels.