The Australian Road Research Board
The Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) is the source of independent expert transport knowledge, advising key decision makers on our nation’s most important challenges.
When it comes to all aspects of roads and transport, ARRB is the leading provider of value-added applied research and technical services. We’ve been doing it since 1960.
ARRB prides itself on providing a total service to our clients, both in Australia and overseas. Our mission is firmly focussed on creating knowledge for tomorrow's transport challenges and solutions for today.
Our unique road and bridge asset management services provide innovative customer-focused solutions to assist network managers to more effectively manage their road and bridge networks to achieve best value. Key services include the assessment of the effects of incremental increases in axle group loads on the road network in terms of road condition and road agency costs, the prediction of dynamic wheel loading and its effects on the network, long-term pavement performance monitoring to develop consistent performance evaluation tools, bridge inspections and structural investigations.
Our services to the heavy vehicles industry include performance assessments and the development of validated vehicle computer simulation models, on-site crash investigations, accident reconstruction, and the development of high-productivity vehicle concepts and risk management strategies. We also offer expert witness services.
Our expertise includes not only asphalt and rigid pavements in heavy duty and urban environments but also low-cost unbound granular pavements with thin bituminous surfacings. The characterisation of bituminous binders, including new, innovative binders, forms a fundamental part of our research and consulting services. In addition to our skills in the design of new pavements and rehabilitation treatments and the characterisation of pavement materials, we have extensive knowledge of pavement deterioration processes, including our world-leading road asset data collection services. Pavement management focuses on optimising expenditure to meet budgets and user expectations.
The Safe Systems approach involves a holistic view of the road transport system and the interaction between roads and roadsides, travel speeds, vehicles and road users. This inclusive approach caters for all road users, including drivers, motorcyclists, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and commercial and heavy vehicle operators. The Safe Systems approach recognises that, while drivers will make mistakes and be involved in crashes, the system should be forgiving enough that these crashes should not result in death or serious injury.
ARRB is a recognised leader in the development of the Safe Systems vision for road transport. Our services include the monitoring of road crashes, timely problem identification, the implementation of remedial treatments and the evaluation of countermeasures – all of which are critical to the safety of the road network.
User-centred design of the road transport system is critical to ensure that it delivers all the services and benefits that customers expect, now and in the future. These include safety, comfort, efficiency, ease of use, and pleasure. Research into human factors and ergonomics have made important contributions to the design, development, operation and evaluation of road transport systems to optimise customer experience and safety. However, as the road transport system evolves, so too will the role of humans within the system. We focus on those human issues critical in the design and operation of the road transport system and how these are likely to change as the road transport system becomes increasingly automated, connected and service oriented.
The way transport systems are being used is changing. Monitoring these changes, understanding the factors that drive them, and determining their implications for safety and efficiency is a growing component of the work undertaken by ARRB’s behavioural scientists. We research and offer solutions to transport safety or efficiency problems involving human behaviour. Services provided include the identification of best practice and well-designed evaluations, and the contribution, from the road user perspective, to transport safety, transport efficiency, transport integration, road user education and driver and rider licensing.
The development of tools and guidelines to improve the road environment in order to develop safe, economical and efficient road design solutions is inherent in the Safe System approach. ARRB offers guidance on the range of influences, information, data, criteria and other considerations that may have to be considered in developing a road project. including:
- the development of coordinated road alignments, as well as adequate cross-sections, sight distances and other features that allow safe operation of the design traffic at the required speed
- the design of surface and sub-surface drainage systems
- guidance on roadside safety and the selection and use of road safety barrier systems
- the design of safe pedestrian and cycle paths
- requirements for the successful quality management of documentation and presentation to ensure that all factors that should influence the desired outcome are taken into account.
The increase in the demand for transport services – which is forecast to continue into the foreseeable future – has placed greater focus on infrastructure and non-infrastructure solutions to meet that demand. There is also a growing recognition of the importance of incorporating non-infrastructure solutions into the planning of new infrastructure, preserving productivity gains into the longer-term through better management of the supply and demand for infrastructure.
ARRB develops the strategies and technologies for the efficient and safe movement of people and freight and for improving the productivity and reliability of arterial and freeway networks. Services include:
- the performance and measurement of road traffic systems so that congestion can be managed equitably and in real time
- the determination of the needs for vehicle detection, classification and identification, and the best technologies to meet those needs
- the evaluation of available technologies and schemes for telematics applications and road advisory information that should be conveyed to travellers
- the costs and benefits of ITS solutions and parking technologies and schemes
- the development of improved macro- and micro-simulation models
- the level of service for trucks, on-road public transport vehicles and emergency vehicles
- the provision of safe and efficient off-road car parks, including parking strategy, policy, planning, pedestrian and road safety, audits, feasibility studies, technology, signage systems and car park safety assessments. We provide independent and unbiased advice to the parking industry as we do not operate parking facilities or supply equipment.
The network operations team collaborates closely with ARRB’s transport safety and traffic, transport economics, transport planning and management and heavy vehicles areas to develop tailored solutions that meet client needs.
There is a need to deliver more from existing transport infrastructure to meet growing demands, including improving safety, increasing efficiency, minimising environmental impacts, improving security and increasing accessibility and convenience for transport users.
ARRB has assisted many transport authorities and organisations to meet these aims. Our team can provide you with high-quality, independent advice on a range of issues including:
- travel demand management
- incident detection and management, including the ARRB Incident Detection Station system
- traveller information systems
- congestion management
- road pricing
- integrated transport
- weigh-in-motion equipment.
Autonomous vehicles are the future of transport. ARRB is playing a significant research role in the areas of higher-level design, research methodology and human and safety factors. It is working together with other industry partners to deliver next-generation mobility solutions in Australia and New Zealand.
We are at the tip of the sword when it comes to driverless vehicles, and helping introduce them safely and successfully to our roads. ARRB is a lead partner in the Australian and New Zealand Driverless Vehicle Initiative (ADVI).
ARRB can offer a unique level of skill and understanding with regards to transport policy and strategy development. Through our extensive involvement in the setting and delivery of strategic research projects through Austroads, we can provide expertise in high-level decision-making and policy through to project-level analysis and
This experience can be shared with customers through a peer review of policies and plans or with a cooperative approach to development from the ground up.
ARRB provides comprehensive and integrated planning advice for the management of travel by people and goods. All travel modes are considered: walking, cycling, bus, rail, motor vehicles (including parking), and freight. We deliver plans, strategies, policies and guidelines that are sustainable, safe, efficient, equitable and practical.
The transport economics team works with engineers, scientists and other transport professionals to undertake both research and consulting projects focusing on transport demand modelling and forecasting, project evaluation and risk assessment, road pricing and the cost of congestion, freight and logistics, transport policy analysis and integrated planning, and transport externalities analysis related to environmental, social and safety aspects.