If you have been fortunate to have driven in the Central Business District (CBD) of Melbourne, Australia, you certainly have experienced the quirky “hook turn” at selected intersections.

The “hook turn” is unique to Melbourne’s CBD as cars are not allowed to travel on tram lanes when turning right at an intersection. As such, cars making a right turn would need to keep left and wait there, before making the right turn. The path when drawn looks like a hook followed by a bend, hence the name.

Australia is currently working with various parties to test the Australian Integrated Multimodel EcoSystem (AIMES) and the local Lexus unit is the first automotive partner to join the collaboration of over 50 including government, transport and technology companies.

Led by the University of Melbourne, this real-world testing of the environment for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications technology under the advanced Co-operative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) will deliver crucial research and data to provide next-generation road safety solutions.

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The target is to reduce the risk of vehicles driving through red lights, turning into trams, or being unable to see obstructed pedestrians.

Two units of Lexus RX 450h are specially fitted with Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) and cellular network technologies communicate with traffic lights, trams and emergency service vehicles to proactively deliver warnings and alerts of potential danger to the driver of the vehicle before they come into a driver’s line of sight.

Lexus aims to use the trial to develop applications such as warning the driver when turning in front of a tram, or warning the driver when a cyclist or pedestrian has pushed the button on traffic lights to cross the road – including at challenging “hook turn” intersections.

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In addition to the connected Lexus RX 450h cars, the AIMES trial area spanning six square kilometres incorporates a network of smart sensors connecting public transport, pedestrians and cyclists, intersections, and streets into a fully integrated ecosystem.