National transport research organisation, the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB), has developed standardised signage and pavement symbols for low and zero-emission vehicles – in consultation with state road authorities, through an Austroads project.
ARRB says the symbols were designed based on the current symbols used in Australia and supported by evidence from global best practice investigated in the report. Key principals in the design include the preference for icons over text to minimise language barriers and the alignment of symbols to current relevant Australian Standards.
Five categories of road sign symbols were considered for harmonisation. These are:
- The symbol for an electric-powered vehicle
- The symbol for an electric-powered vehicle being charged
- The symbol for a charging station for electric-powered vehicles
- The symbol for a hydrogen fuel-cell powered vehicle and associated refuelling infrastructure
- The symbol for access to lanes and roadways is designated for electric and hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles.
New Zealand has already rolled out electric vehicle charging signage nationwide, and some Australian jurisdictions have also started to use low and zero-emission vehicle symbols.
However, currently there is no standardisation in signs across jurisdictions in Australia.
ARRB says inconsistent signage with different symbols will lead to confusion, compromise road safety and increase complexity in the shift towards autonomous vehicles. The organisation adds that harmonising symbols with New Zealand where possible is a significant advancement made possible through the Austroads program coverage.
The detailed report can be found here.