Sydney’s first smart motorway given the green light


14 December 2020

The state’s first smart motorway has been permanently switched on after a trial in which the intelligent technology provided motorists with a smoother and more reliable journey.

Road sensors, traffic cameras, ramp signals, and overhead gantries have been installed along the corridor to better manage traffic, improve incident response times and move more people.

Transport for NSW Chief Operations Officer Howard Collins said the 35 kilometre upgrade along the existing M4 Motorway incorporated new technologies designed to create a better travelling experience for motorists.

“During the trial, ramp metering was activated regularly on the Cumberland Highway, Prospect Highway and Reservoir Road westbound on ramps,” Mr Collins said.

“The Traffic Management Centre also used the technology to identify a number of incidents on the motorway and used the system to increase information to the travelling public about delays and alternatives.

“In a first for NSW, the smart technology automatically lowered the speed limit due to congestion on the M4 without any human intervention.

“There is still some way to go until the full benefits are realised, but the early results are very encouraging.”

Transport for NSW is now investigating the installation of the smart technology on other major corridors including the M1 from the ANZAC Bridge to the Warringah Freeway.

For more information visit the M4 Smart Motorway project page.

About the M4 Smart Motorway

The M4 Smart Motorway is operational between Mays Hill and Lapstone. The new technology includes:

  • traffic sensors embedded in the road every 500 metres;
  • coordinated, quick-changing entry ramp signals to keep traffic flowing on the motorway and make merging easier and safer;
  • new lane use management gantries to open and close lanes in response to incidents;
  • more variable message and speed limit signs – particularly before exit points; and
  • new electronic signs on approach roads to warn of traffic conditions and travel times.