The Andrews Labor Government has announced that it will support an ambitious and unique hi-tech Melbourne transport project focused on reducing future congestion and improving road safety as the city’s population approaches seven million.

Researchers at the University of Melbourne’s School of Engineering will study connected data from vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians and infrastructure in a busy five square km test area bounded by Alexandra Parade, Victoria Street, Hoddle Street and Lygon Street.

Thousands of sensors and wireless units fitted to roads, traffic signals and vehicles will generate the connected data.

Results of the world-first ‘National Connected Multimodal Transport Test Bed’ project will provide an unprecedented insight into how to manage emerging smart Australian transport systems and road networks in a more efficient way.

Supported by the Labor Government, the University of Melbourne project includes a variety of public and private sector partners.

The test bed pilot is scheduled to be launched in April, 2017.

Minister for Roads and Roads Safety Luke Donnellan said: “We’re embracing advances in technology to ensure Victoria can create the highly-integrated, smart transport network our state can thrive on.

“We want to provide Victorians with the most efficient, safest transport system possible.

“We look forward to working closely with the University of Melbourne to ensure Victoria can reap the maximum benefits from this world first project.”