Case studies

Early delivery of transport options in new suburbs

New suburbs are expected to accommodate an extra half a million new homes over the next 35 years in Melbourne. Residents in outer suburbs can spend 15 or more hours per week commuting. This project is working to produce evidence and tools to assist both the public and private sectors provide more transport options, earlier. The project will build evidence of resident transport experience, and develop tools to overcome legislative, procedural and funding barriers as well as identify financial models and tools. This is a multi-disciplinary project co-designed with partners including state government agencies, local governments, developers and the Planning Institute of Australia.

Contact: Annette Kroen (    

Multi-sensing, machine learning and predictive journey analytics

The Context Recognition and Urban Intelligence (CRUISE) group has developed apps with multi-sensing and machine learning capabilities for transport mode detection and movement activity recognition, useful for profiling users’ travel choices and long-term movement behaviours. In partnership with the City of Melbourne, the CRUISE group has also developed a pedestrian foot traffic forecasting system, enabling the number of pedestrians to be predicted hour by hour at multiple locations in the city up to 16 days ahead of time. This is particularly useful for planning additional services in major train stations and the tram network around the city.

Contact: Flora Salim (    

Access to public transport across cities in Australia

The Creating liveable cities in Australia report is the first baseline measure of liveability in Australia’s state and territory capitals. It represents the culmination of five years of research. One of the seven domains examined in the report was public transport, with an evidence-based, policy-relevant indicator for public transport access calculated across all eight state and territory capitals. The national liveability indicator for access to public transport is the proportion of residential addresses within 400 metres walking distance of a frequently serviced public transport stop — one with a scheduled service every 30 minutes from 7am to 7pm on a normal weekday. The indicator was adopted in the first release of the Federal Government’s National Cities Performance Framework. Future releases of the framework will feature the access to public transport indicator for all twenty-one of the largest cities in Australia.

Contact: Jonathan Arundel (    

Emerging East Asian logistics challenges and opportunities

RMIT’s Global Supply Chain and Logistics Research Priority Area is co-leading the Reconfiguring East Asian Logistics Networks under the One Belt, One Road Environment project to understand the likely challenges associated with emerging logistics networks in East Asia. This three-year project is funded by the South Korean Government under the Global Research Network scheme. The aim is to develop logistics strategies to help harness Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) business potential to create new opportunities for trade, investment, technological innovation and movement of labour.  

Professor Chhetri and researchers from Inha University in Korea and Zhejiang University in China are examining the global impact and significance of the BRI on infrastructure development, shift in trade patterns and improvement in international logistics. The BRI, an initiative by the Chinese Government, purports to improve China’s connectivity with global markets by shaping trade policies and economic strategies, promoting resource cooperation and forging business partnerships.
Contact: Prem Chhetri (       

Advancing aviation systems and technologies

In the aviation context, significant improvements in safety, capacity, efficiency and environmental sustainability are being achieved. This evolutionary pathway is seeing the introduction of communication, navigation, surveillance, air traffic management and avionics equipment supporting four-dimensional trajectory-based operations, while simultaneously addressing the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems in all classes of airspace. RMIT is collaborating with Thales Australia, Northrop Grumman, NASA, Qantas and other key industry partners to advance these and other aviation technologies.
Contact: Roberto Sabatini (    

More effective journey planning

Commuters, residents and tourists travelling by public transport into and around Melbourne, need efficient optimised journey planning information to support their personal decisions around which multimodal option suits them at the time. As part of this project with the Victorian Government, RMIT integrated publicly available data such as public transport timetables with Open Street Maps, Open Trip Planner and weather information to enable passengers to make informed choices around their car, public transport, bike and walking, as well as accessibility and wheelchair access options. The research has generated context-aware and personalised models for journey planning.

As part of the project, RMIT proposed a novel contour-based accessibility aware route planning algorithm for the mobility impaired, solving the first / last mile problem while traveling on the transport network. Via an app, we can support and encourage crowd-sourced route information to share interesting multimodal combinations particularly for tourists and to avoid congestion. We have also developed data-driven predictive trip planning models for taxi passengers and drivers. An accurate taxi wait time prediction model has been tested using large-scale taxi trajectory logs from New York City. All of this research is from an ARC Linkage grant and student programming projects designed to generate transport analytics from an integrated and real-time passenger and public transport information system.

Contact: Margaret Hamilton (      

Intelligent transport systems and autonomous vehicles

RMIT is working on several of the technology enablers for the intelligent transport systems transformation, with a particular focus on sense-and-avoid, intelligent navigation and positioning, human-machine interfaces, health and usage monitoring systems and trajectory negotiation/validation. More connected and autonomous vehicles and transport infrastructure will provide unprecedented benefits in terms of safety, efficiency, resilience and environmental performance. Vehicles in future transport systems will operate at higher levels of autonomy through various enabling technologies, including advanced forms of human and machine cognition for mission and safety-critical decision making.

With the advancement of such technologies, fully autonomous road and air vehicles are expected to enter operations within the next two decades. Autonomous vehicles offer clear opportunities for safer, more efficient and synchronous transport networks. However, to fully exploit these opportunities, they also require complex integrated and interconnected cyber-physical systems to be developed. Such systems must operate by exchanging large amounts of data in real-time and seamlessly, providing both human and machine agents with the information required for strategic and tactical decision-making.
Contact: Roberto Sabatini (    

Development of Resilient Transport Systems

Different kinds of disruptions and threats such as natural disasters, failures in technology, and terrorist attacks have consistently put large populations at risk worldwide. A robust and resilient transportation system is required to absorb the effects from such disturbances and to safeguard operational continuity. Emergency managers or planners have the big task to plan for such risk by developing strategies to alleviate damage and protect lives. Therefore, the aim of this project is to develop new tools and methods to assess the vulnerability and resiliency of multi-modal transport system. Diverse issues under both notice and non-notice natural and human-made disasters will be explored and examined in this project including traffic network optimization, underground railway evacuation management, passengers crowd dynamics modelling, demand management, evacuee behaviour, multiple objectives, spatial and temporal distribution of evacuee. The RMIT research team, led by Dr Nirajan Shiwakoti, is examining this project from multi-disciplinary perspectives ranging from transport engineering, optimization, swarm intelligence/animal models, behavioural change models to Infrared/Bluetooth/GPS/Wi-Fi/Smartphone detection.    

Contact: Dr Nirajan Shiwakoti (    

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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.