A further draft of the Austroads “Data Standard for Road Management and Investment in Australia and New Zealand” has been released for comment. The development of a data standard was initiated in 2015 and aims to provide a common language and understanding of road asset data capture needs to support better governance of the road network. A first draft of the standard was then the subject of extensive consultation across Australia and New Zealand in February and March of this year. The consultation examined three implementation options described below and a decision was reached as to which is most suitable.
Option 1 is a harmonised road asset data standard and taxonomy adopted widely across road agencies, local councils, road manager partners and service providers. Option 2 proposed a solution comprising the same principles as Option 1, but with a centralised database used to store road agency and local council road asset data. The final solution presented, Option 3, proposed the formation of a national agency to collect, store and report on road asset information across all road networks.
The new draft standard states that Option 1 was considered to be the least risky option and will also most likely receive the most support from key stakeholders.
The summary of the revised standard states, “It represents a ‘no regrets’ option – it is the easiest and least cost option and is a foundational step to implementing option 2 and option 3.”
Austroads plans to harmonise road data were announced soon after Austroads contracted development consultants Parsons Brinckerhoff to study the requirements needed to launch autonomous vehicle infrastructure across Australia. However, Austroads describe the primary reason for the standard as an opportunity for large and small road managers to share business critical information, improved strategic decision making and facilitate productive design, construction, maintenance and operation of road assets.
Organisations who collect or use road data for their asset and service performance assessment, performance benchmarking, road research, policy development, expenditure comparisons and funding approvals are encouraged to provide feedback on the standard.
A copy of the standard and details on how to provide feedback are available for review from the project website https://apps.opus.co.nz/austroads and comments may be submitted until 12 May 2016.