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IBM Partners With Queensland Motorways To Achieve Intelligent Transportation Milestone

Completion of Free-Flow Tolling central system puts Brisbane on road towards a smarter city

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Sydney, Australia - 10 Nov 2009: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the successful deployment of an intelligent tolling and traffic management system in Brisbane, Australia, designed to reduce travel times, decrease traffic congestion, and reduce green house gas emissions.

The completion of the 18-month project, which saw IBM design, build and deploy the central tolling system as part of Queensland Motorways Limited’s Free Flow Tolling Project, is already reducing traffic bottlenecks through the removal of manual toll payments, and lays the platform for smarter traffic programs capable of supporting the continued economic growth of Australia's third largest city.

With toll plazas removed and associated roadworks now completed, traffic incidents around the toll points have been reduced by as much as 80 per cent, with traffic no longer needing to negotiate manual toll booths.

In Australia, the latest estimates put the cost of time spent sitting in traffic at $11.1 billion annually. This figure doesn't include the cost of the fuel burned waiting for traffic to move, the cost to the environment or the flow-on costs to the nation's health system.

To mitigate these impacts, Brisbane began a series of major infrastructure upgrades designed to bring the city’s road and bridge capacity in line with demand.

However, planners also recognised the need for greater use of technology, and in particular the role that instrumented, interconnected and intelligent solutions can play in creating smarter, more efficient transportation networks.

In early 2008 Queensland Motorways appointed IBM as the systems integrator responsible for designing and building a central tolling system, working alongside roadside infrastructure provider Thales on the delivery of an overall electronic tolling platform capable of supporting free-flow tolling and the replacement of toll booths on motorways around Brisbane.


Bringing global expertise to bear

Under the contract IBM tapped its hardware, software and consulting expertise, as well as the deep industry expertise of its Global lntelligent Transport Solutions practice, to build an integrated tolling solution linking roadside sensor and imaging technology to transaction, billing and marketing systems. Application software from global IBM partner SAP provided back-office functionality.  

In addition to reduced congestion through removal of toll plazas, the solution offers more strategic benefits in the future. Motorways with the means to track traffic patterns based on realtime traffic conditions can deliver targeted and flexible traffic management strategies which provide for a much smarter, more efficient transportation network.

Mr Phil Mumford, Chief Executive Officer, Queensland Motorways Limited, said: “The technology and system developed and implemented for free-flow tolling will greatly assist Queensland Motorways in providing customers with access to information such as projected travel times and help them make informed travel decisions.

“The idea ultimately is to have ‘a motorway that thinks’ – a more intelligent solution that will give our customers a better range of options for their journeys.”

John Hawkins, IBM Australia & New Zealand Intelligent Transport Solutions Lead, said: “Transport and congestion are big issues for today’s cities. Smart transport infrastructure is vital to support economic growth and quality of life, as well as reducing the impact on the environment. The solution IBM developed for QML highlights how advances in technology can address these issues, and help to create a more sustainable future.”

IBM is currently working with a number of cities around the world to tackle stressed transportation networks. Increasingly governments are investing in intelligent solutions to help cities manage congestion, improve urban environmental conditions and increase economic competitiveness. IBM researchers and consultants have already built smarter traffic and transportation systems in Stockholm, Brisbane, Singapore, Dublin and London.

In June of this year, IBM and the Australian Industry Group released a blueprint for the development of intelligent infrastructure in Australia over the next 10 years, based on the merging physical infrastructure such as of roads, airports and buildings, with the digital infrastructure of broadband, the internet and data centres.

About IBM’s Central Tolling System solution

IBM's Identification, Rating and Interoperability Services (IRIS) subsystem picks up the information generated at the roadside and uses stored business logic to execute a series of toll-related transactions. Upon receiving the roadside information, IRIS runs it against an SAP CRM database, within which the solution maintains a comprehensive record of vehicle and owner profile information.

Based on this information—as well as other key rating parameters — the IRIS system calculates the required toll and sends it (via IBM WebSphere® MQ, the solution’s core middleware) to SAP FI-CA, which then issues a bill against the customer’s prepaid toll account. Integrating seamlessly with IBM WebSphere Application Server, the IRIS solution is implemented utilizing a mix of IBM POWER6 Systems and BladeCenter® servers, as well as IBM System Storage™ DS8100 for customer data storage.

IBM Rational® Portfolio Manager was used for project management. A secure Toll Admin Access Control and Single Sign On solution was required for the Queensland Motorways free-flow tolling Central System. The Tivoli Access Manager for e-business was designed to provide specific access control and single sign on to SAP applications, IRIS and Self Service Portal.  In addition, Lotus Web Content Manager provides access to information for end users on the Tolling website.


About Queensland Motorways

Queensland Motorways is a leading company delivering some of Queensland's key infrastructure and transport technology projects. It owns and operates toll roads and bridge infrastructure in south-east Queensland. Its road network is designed to relieve suburban roads of heavy traffic and extends across 61 kilometres. The Queensland Motorways road network carries more than 74 million motorists a year


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