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Through its research programme, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency invests in innovative and relevant research which plays a critical role in contributing to the government's goals for transport.

The results of Waka Kotahi research must be readily applicable to interventions that can be cost effectively applied in New Zealand in the short-to-medium term for longer-term impacts. This page lists all active Waka Kotahi research programme projects and is updated as research is completed.

For further information, you can either:

For information on any of these projects, please contact the research organisation directly or email research@nzta.govt.nz.

Key research areas

The projects listed below are currently active. They are arranged according to five outcomes in the sector’s outcome framework.

Overarching
Economic prosperity
Environmental sustainability
Healthy and safe people
Inclusive access
Resilience and security

Overarching

  • Feasibility study on commercial deployment of autonomous shuttles on New Zealand public roads as a complement or substitute to public transport
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2020/21

    Feasibility study on commercial deployment of autonomous shuttles on New Zealand public roads as a complement or substitute to public transport

    Beca

    February 2022

    Purpose and objectives:

    The purpose of this research is to improve the understanding of the ability of autonomous forms of public transport could provide a viable alternative to current forms of public transport. This research also aims to develop a framework that can be used to evaluate commercial deployment of potential autonomous forms of public transport from an operational and infrastructure perspective that take account of New Zealand’s varying operating conditions.

    The objectives of the research will be:

    1. To build an evidence base to inform the role of future autonomous forms of public transport. Through the evidence base confirm the;
      1. conditions under which autonomous forms of public transport could be a viable alternative to traditional public transport in New Zealand.
      2. operational factors that should be considered when evaluating autonomous forms of public transport proposals as well as understand how these vary across New Zealand.
      3. framework for evaluating potential autonomous forms of public transport proposals and test using case studies of two New Zealand locations (Queenstown and Wellington).
      4. Level of increase safety and improved accessibility, productivity and fuel consumption
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Economic prosperity

To support economic activity via local, regional and international connections with efficient movements of people and products.

  • Economic Evaluation Manual (EEM) parameter values study

    Year commissioned

    Project title

    Researcher

    Indicative delivery

    2018/19

    Economic Evaluation Manual (EEM) parameter values study

    Resource Economics

    February 2022

    Purpose and objectives:

    The research will build on the pilot study (Research Report 648) which reviewed relevant literature and established that a discrete choice survey could be used effectively to derive values for safety (crashes causing injuries or fatalities), travel time and reliability. The survey used in that work would provide the basis for this new survey work. Taking account of lessons learnt in the final phase, and the desire to obtain more insights from the work, it would be enhanced in the following ways:

    1. It would be extended to differentiate values by travel mode and trip purpose.
    2. It would be extended to identify values for minor and serious injury accidents.
    3. It would analyse the relationship between values and explanatory factors including age and income.
    4. It would examine if other non-market benefits could be added usefully and effectively.

    The methodology for this work is divided into four separate components:

    1. A literature review which will be used to address issues raised by the pilot study and subsequent discussions and include any recent literature. It will also discuss the context for the values and the potential implications for decisions.
    2. Designing fit for purpose surveys, building on the survey used in the pilot study.
    3. Implementing the surveys, data processing and cleaning.
    4. Econometric modelling and analysis and interpretation of the results to produce values appropriate for the Economic Evaluation Manual (EEM).
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  • A database of quantification/monetisation methodologies and value proxies for non-monetised benefits
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2020/21

    A database of quantification/monetisation methodologies and value proxies for non-monetised benefits

    NZIER

    December 2021

    Purpose and objectives:

    We understand NZTA is seeking a better understanding of non-monetised benefits of its transport investments and, where possible, identification of practical means to provide reliable values for use in project appraisals, either by benefit transfer of estimates made elsewhere or commissioned new primary valuation studies. The study is to establish a database of value proxies and valuation methods that could potentially be used to monetise benefits that are currently treated as non-monetised in economic evaluation, to improve the BCR estimate as an investment decision-tool.

    In other words, the research questions are about the practical feasibility of extending monetisation to non-monetised benefits: What estimates currently exist, what methods exist to create new estimates, and how appropriate and reliable are these estimates and methods for application to existing and maybe new benefits that are currently non-monetised in transport appraisals?

    The objectives of this research study would be to:

    1. Review theoretical and empirical literature on the valuation of such non-monetised benefits as are currently in the benefits framework with respect to transport investments.
    2. Determine the extent to which it is possible and appropriate to quantify and monetise the current non-monetised benefits in the benefits framework.
    3. Identify other possible non-monetised benefits outside the framework that warrant being included in it.
    4. Identify the valuation approaches appropriate to the monetisation of each of these currently non-monetised benefits, and the conditions under which they can be used.
    5. Assess whether values found in the literature or used in other jurisdictions in transport appraisals can reliably infer values for such benefits in New Zealand.
    6. Compile a database of potential values to use from existing studies, and suggestions for methods to use to generate new values to fill in the gaps, with assessment of their reliability for application to New Zealand conditions.
    7. Provide guidance for how such monetisation methods can be incorporated in the benefits framework.
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  • Incorporating distributional impacts in the cost-benefit appraisal framework

    Year commissioned

    Project title

    Researcher

    Indicative delivery

    2021/22

    Incorporating distributional impacts in the cost-benefit appraisal framework

    Principal Economics Ltd

    June 2022

    Purpose and objectives:

    An economically robust distribution/equity impact assessment framework will be developed that can be incorporated into the Waka Kotahi Monetised benefit and cost manual (MBCM) for evaluating economic land transport activities in New Zealand.

     

    The objective of the research is to develop a robust methodology for capturing the distributional effects in transport Cost Benefit Appraisals using the following steps:

    1. to identify and assess the different types of distributional/equity impacts that could arise as a result of transport interventions and initiatives;
    2. to develop comprehensive methodologies and techniques so that distributional/equity considerations can be assessed and quantified within a cost-benefit framework;
    3. to provide guidance on the forms or types of mitigation policies and measures to address adverse distributional/equity impacts;
    4. to apply the methods, techniques and mitigation polices and measures to a suitable case study to be decided in conjunction with the Steering Group (SG).
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Environmental sustainability

To transition to net zero carbon emissions and maintain or improve biodiversity, water quality and air quality.

  • Direct mortality from roads on native birds: species and sites

    Year commissioned

    Project title

    Researcher

    Indicative delivery

    2021/22

    Direct mortality from roads on native birds: species and sites

    Manaaki Whenua (Landcare Research)

    August 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    The purpose of this research topic is to identify native bird species and road sites in New Zealand that exemplify possibly significant mortality by vehicle strike and to develop and test a method to assess rates of road kill. This shall provide the crucial first step in addressing the knowledge gap regarding impacts of direct mortality from roads on native bird populations.

     

    The objectives of this research are:

    1. Undertake a literature review to:
      1. detail overseas methods and best practice regarding survey design and methodology
      2. provide an overview of current best practice roadkill mitigation techniques from New Zealand and overseas.
    2. Undertake desktop investigation to ascertain what bird species and road sites in New Zealand exemplify possibly significant mortality by vehicle strike and what species traits and site attributes characterise the above examples.
    3. Develop a method to ascertain rates of roadkill that can be applied in New Zealand.
    4. Test the method in the field forming case studies and selecting species and sites from the literature review.
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  • Determining the edge effects of roads

    Year commissioned

    Project title

    Researcher

    Indicative delivery

    2019/20

    Determining the edge effects of roads

    Manaaki Whenua (Landcare Research)

    December 2021

    Purpose and objectives:

    To identify and prioritise edge effects associated with linear infrastructure, focusing mainly on roads but referencing rail and cycle paths. Edge effects will be placed in the New Zealand context, ie on native ecosystems influenced by pest plants and animals, and for New Zealand road characteristics (design and maintenance).

    This research has three main objectives that identify and quantify the edge effects of roads in the New Zealand context. The objectives of this research are to:

    1. review edge effects of roads in the international and NZ resource consenting context based on existing information, key concerns raised in NZ project consenting (eg RMA – roads, rail, canals, mines, subdivisions), and international literature. Identify methods used to identify and measure edge effects, any ‘rules of thumb’ or ‘proxy’ measurements and the evidence base for these.
    2. identify where NZ roads and ecosystems are similar to, or different from overseas, and what this means for determining edge effects. Identify characteristics of the New Zealand landscape, ecosystems and road design that influence edge effects
    3. address knowledge gaps. Deliver for measurement of edge effects (ecosystems, species, impacts), and methods that can be used at a project scale. Test a ‘Rapid Edge Assessment Method’ in two recent projects in contrasting ecosystems.
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  • Understanding the national picture of supply and demand of aggregates for the land transport sector

    Year commissioned

    Project title

    Researcher

    Indicative delivery

    2019/20

    Understanding the national picture of supply and demand of aggregates for the land transport sector

    University of Auckland

    October 2021

    Purpose and objectives:

    The purpose of this research is to better understand transport sector requirements in relation to the access, supply, demand and use of aggregates to enable sustainable sourcing of materials. This will help in the development of a national coordinated strategy and action plan to optimise material use within the transport sector. Implementation of a strategic approach presents a very real opportunity to achieve cost savings and environmental improvements.

    The objectives of the research are to:

    1. Understand the current and predicted future national picture for supply and demand of aggregates in the transport and broader construction industry to inform a national sustainable aggregate sourcing strategy.
    2. Understand how aggregate supply and demand forecast data is currently collated/reported to inform decision making
    3. Establish a baseline of current use of different aggregate materials, including recycled and re-used materials.
    4. Inform development of methodologies/tools to enable robust collection/forecast/ reporting and geospatial representation of national supply and demand.
    5. Develop recommendations for improving access to and supply of sustainable aggregate resources.
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  • Determining the impact that Heavy Vehicles & light vehicles have on fleet harmful & GHG emissions through real-world vehicle emission monitoring data – Stage 1

    Year commissioned

    Project title

    Researcher

    Indicative delivery

    2019/20

    Determining the impact that Heavy Vehicles & light vehicles have on fleet harmful & GHG emissions through real-world vehicle emission monitoring data – Stage 1

    Pattle Delamore Partners Ltd

    September 2021

    Purpose and objectives:

    The purpose of this research is to investigate the relevance (magnitude) and uncertainty in emission factors and fuel consumption for vehicles prevalent in the New Zealand fleet, and to develop a methodology for closing prioritised knowledge gaps. This includes consideration of New Zealand specific vehicle loads, speed and route characteristics and their impact on real-world fuel consumption and emissions.

    The focus will be on using existing data sources but where there are prioritised gaps, recommend the most cost-effective way(s) to conduct additional vehicle emission measurements, which could be used to update VFEM/VEPM. This study will focus on heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) as information gaps are expected to be significant but will also consider light-duty vehicles.

    The objectives of the research are to:

    1. Undertake analysis of real-world measurement data, including international studies, to develop and improve light and heavy vehicle emissions factors.
    2. Develop a methodology to effectively measure the impacts of light vehicles and the type of heavy vehicle, speed and route characteristics on real-world fuel consumption and emissions in NZ. Include recommendations for which vehicle types should be prioritised for real-world emission measurement to address gaps in knowledge.
    3. Recommend how to carry out the next stage of the project to undertake real-world emissions testing of heavy vehicles, along with addressing gaps in knowledge identified for light vehicles in previous studies. Consideration will be given to proposals that include opportunities to partner with other organisations to increase the opportunity to carry out real-world testing and trials.
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  • How effective are transport-related ecological interventions?

    Year commissioned

    Project title

    Researcher

    Indicative delivery

    2019/20

    How effective are transport-related ecological interventions?

    Wildland Consultants Ltd

    November 2021

    Purpose and objectives:

    The purpose of this research is to assess the following for roading projects in New Zealand:

    1. Whether significant ecological effects are being appropriately identified.
    2. Whether ecological management plans identify appropriate avoidance or mitigation actions
    3. Whether recommended avoidance or mitigation actions are successfully implemented
    4. Whether recommended avoidance or mitigation options are appropriately monitored.

    A Gap analysis will be undertaken that assesses the ‘state of play’ of roading ecological interventions. The Gap analysis will also identify the residual between what ecological interventions are achieving and what they are required to achieve to meet obligations under the Resource Management Act (1991) and the Wildlife Act (1953).

    This research will address the knowledge gap around the effectiveness of ecological interventions made by the transport sector when carrying out infrastructure projects and maintenance and operational activities. The magnitude and severity of an impact on ecological values depends not only on the nature of the roading or activity project but also on the effectiveness of the interventions implemented.

    The first objective of this research is to review what the known ecological effects of roading projects have been in New Zealand since (and including) the Northern Gateway project. This will include reviewing the nature, extent and success of ecological interventions undertaken to remedy, mitigate ecological effects. The review will consider:

    1. What components of the ecosystem were affected (e.g. terrestrial, marine freshwater, vegetation, fauna, specific taxonomic groups)?
    2. What ecological management was applied to minimise these effects?
    3. What evidence is there that ecological management minimised the ecological effects?
    4. How was this ecological management monitored?
    5. Was this monitoring sufficient to determine whether ecological management was successful?

    The second objective of this research is to use data from the review in a Gap analysis that will determine the actual performance of ecological interventions. This will be assessed against ecological criteria, and within the context of the Resource Management Act (1991).

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  • Social cost (health) of land transport noise exposure
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery
    2020/21 Social cost (health) of land transport noise exposure AECOM June 2022
    Purpose and objectives: The purpose of this research paper is to define the health costs of transport noise exposure across New ZealandThe objectives of the research are to:
    • Undertake a detailed literature review which identifies existing research in each key field, the applicability to New Zealand, and gaps in current understanding. This review would identify further work required in each of the items listed below
    • Develop a New Zealand transport noise exposure noise model which would include the existing road noise model, a new rail noise model, available aircraft noise maps and port noise maps where already available.
    • Determine appropriate dose-response relationships for health, productivity and cognitive impacts of transport noise. This work would build on the recent road transport dose-response study undertaken by AECOM.
    • Develop a cost model to evaluate the impacts of transport noise exposure
    • Develop an integrated noise exposure and cost tool, combing the outcomes of all the above work into a GIS tool.
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  • Life cycle analysis of recycled and alternative materials that could be used for transport infrastructure projects in New Zealand
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery
    2020/21 Life cycle analysis of recycled and alternative materials that could be used for transport infrastructure projects in New Zealand Thinkstep Ltd December 2021
    Purpose and objectives: Develop a scientific, life-cycle based understanding of the whole-of-life environmental impacts of key infrastructure materials and asphalt pavement types. This data will plug a current environmental impact knowledge gap and support Waka Kotahi in robust, considered environmental decision making throughout infrastructure projects.Support Waka Kotahi and the infrastructure industry in New Zealand in considered decision-making by providing environmental data, expertise, and tools to:
    • Develop New Zealand specific environmental data (including carbon footprint and energy) for key infrastructure materials through a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).
    • Create a tool to assist decision-making by providing a simple excel based calculator that allows evaluation of impacts incurred through different scenarios (e.g. varying levels of recycled/ virgin materials, transport distances etc.).
    • Support Waka Kotahi in results interpretation through the development of guiding principles and ‘rules-of-thumb’ based on regions throughout NZ.
    • Create a ‘best use’ tool for each recycled or alternative material in each region to compare impact of different use types (e.g. as base course, in asphalt, closed-loop recycling).
    • Generate an overview of recycled and alternative material availability across NZ.
    • Assess wider sustainability impacts such as water, noise, dust, and social aspects.
    The outcomes will:
    • Support robust decisions for pavements and structures
    • Assess recycled and alternative materials
    • Provide data to include environmental impacts to be part of the overall assessment to optimize virgin material use and reduce waste
    • Introduce wider sustainability impacts as additional considerations in decision-making
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  • Community exposure to dust from unsealed roads
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2019/20

    Community exposure to dust from unsealed roads

    Tonkin + Taylor

    December 2021

    Purpose and objectives:

    Our research will build on existing data to deliver a better understanding of the health and social impacts of community exposure to dust from unsealed roads in New Zealand.

    Our research will aim to:

    • Collect field data to enable the development of dust emission factors specific to New
    • Zealand road surface materials
    • Develop methods for:
      • estimating unsealed road dust emissions
      • determining community exposure to dust
      • assigning relative dust risk categories to road segments (building on existing tools)
    • Develop specific dose-response relationships and economic models to quantify the health and non-health costs of exposure to dust from unsealed roads
    • Deliver a practical and readily updatable tool that integrates all of these elements and allows the spatially resolved model outputs to be presented as both maps and data tables.

    The outputs from our research will assist Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (Waka Kotahi), policy-makers and regulators in understanding and contextualising the impacts of dust from unsealed roads and provide a practical tool for road controlling authorities and other stakeholders to evaluate priorities and quantify the benefits of road sealing.

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  • Community response to noise
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2019/20

    Community response to noise

    Tonkin + Taylor Ltd

    December 2022

    Purpose and objectives:

    To determine the community response to transport noise exposure in New Zealand by:

    • Defining and quantifying New Zealand community response to short-term increases in transport noise exposure from selected modes and define and quantify New Zealand community response to long-term transport noise exposure from selected modes.
    • Comparing the findings with other similar research and the findings of Waka Kotahi RR 656 (Research Report 656 Evidential basis for community response to land transport noise, June 2019.)

    The selected modes are road, rail, and aviation (airports). It has been agreed that ports will not be included in this research due to the smaller population sample size compared to the other modes.

    The outputs from our research will assist Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (Waka Kotahi), policy-makers and regulators in understanding the noise effects on communities affected by different transport modes.

    The objectives of this research are to:

    • define and quantify New Zealand community response to short-term increases in transport noise exposure from different modes, and
    • define and quantify New Zealand community response to long-term transport noise exposure from different modes
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  • Noise disturbance from individual vehicles
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2019/20

    Noise disturbance from individual vehicles

    Altissimo Consulting Ltd

    March 2023

    Purpose and objectives:

    Our research will deliver a better understanding of the significance of noise from individual vehicles compared to average levels from steady traffic, and how road layout features influence noise generation. We will establish a consistent framework for monitoring, assessing, and predicting individual vehicle noise and other nuisance noise. This framework will assist Waka Kotahi to assess projects and design elements on a consistent basis. This framework will also allow for the implementation of appropriate interventions to reduce effects.

    The result of this improved understanding and assessment framework will be to more effectively evaluate and design roading features, such that noise effects will be reduced. The reduced noise effects will result in improved amenity for residents near roads, and a reduced risk of health effects from road-traffic noise, particularly sleep disturbance.

    The end goal of our research is to provide Waka Kotahi and the wider community with better knowledge and tools resulting in is reduced harm and a better living environment for people adjacent the state highway network.

    The first objective of our research is to summarise known issues of noise from engine braking, and vehicles driving over bridge joints and Audio Tactile Profile (ATP) linemarking. This objective will yield an understanding of the prevalence and effect of these noise sources. This will largely be performed by a meta-analysis of existing NZ studies, and will be supplemented with the measurement results in this research project. The primary mechanisms resulting in these noise events are understood, but the evidence needs to be collated and formalized to inform decisions and policy.

    The second objective of our research is to address the lack of standardized approaches for predicting the level or impact of sounds from individual vehicles and sound arising from surface features. We understand that this research should address noise from vehicles traversing road design features such as:

    • roundabouts
    • corners
    • intersections (controlled and uncontrolled)
    • gradients
    • traffic calming devices

    and noise from road surface features such as:

    • bridge joints
    • surface joints
    • rumble strip (ATP linemarkings)
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  • What is the impact of the ride-hailing sector in NZ on transport related GHG emissions and how will this change over time?

    Year commissioned

    Project title

    Researcher

    Indicative delivery

    2021/22

    What is the impact of the ride-hailing sector in NZ on transport related GHG emissions and how will this change over time?

    Arup New Zealand Ltd

    July 2022

    Purpose and objectives:

    The rapid emergence of ride-hailing represents a significant shift in travel behaviour. While we can learn from other cities around the world, these affects may be felt differently in different contexts – given altering forms, functions, and social and economic positioning of cities. The purpose of this research is to develop a richer understanding of the ride-hailing marketplace in New Zealand. The research will investigate the historic changes in ride-hailing over time, to what extent ride-hailing is replacing other modes and, subsequently, the scale to which greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are increasing or decreasing in this context as a result of these changes. Findings will inform the development of future transport scenarios in New Zealand. These will be built on alternate levels of market activity and emissions-reduction policy settings.

     

    The objectives of the research are to:

    1. Identify growth in the size of the New Zealand ride-hailing market over time focusing on the case study cities, measured in terms of total, service and passenger kilometres. Service (or operating) kilometers would include all travel associated with service provision (e.g. including travel to, from and between fares), while passenger kilometers would include only fare related kilometres.
    2. Estimate net greenhouse gas emissions associated with ride-hailing activities through estimating mode substitution and new travel effects, and applying ride-hailing fleet factors
    3. Project prospective ride-hailing travel and greenhouse gas emissions futures to inform potential policy responses.
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Healthy and safe people

To protect people from transport-related injuries and harmful pollution and make physically active travel an attractive option.

  • COVID-19 virus impacts on transport – demand side (consumer)

    Year commissioned

    Project title

    Contracted research organisation

    Indicative delivery

    2019/20

    COVID-19 virus impacts on transport – demand side (consumer)

    Ipsos

    December 2022

    Purpose and objectives:

    Given the rate of change as a result of Covid-19 this research is seeking to understand the changes in consumer attitudes and behaviour in relation to New Zealand’s transport system and the when, how and why different groups of New Zealanders are travelling as a result of COVID-19 requirements.

    The research will have two distinct purposes:

    1. To understand how travel is changing in response to COVID-19 on a weekly basis - This will include trip frequency, distance, journey type.
    2. To understand why travel is changing in response to COVID-19 on a weekly basis - Perceptions and attitudes towards travel.

    The overall research objective is to gain a better understanding of the New Zealand public’s response to COVID-19 in relation to their usage and attitudes towards the New Zealand Transport System.

    Waka Kotahi would like to take a collaborative approach working with the successful research partner to co-design the benchmark survey and an agile working approach to allow rapid change to continue to meet the research objectives and purpose.

    Specifically, though the research Waka Kotahi is seeking an understanding of:

    1. General attitudes and fears in relation to COVID-19.
    2. Identifying different consumer segments based on their attitudes to COVID-19 in the context of travel and the transport system.
    3. How perceptions and attitudes towards modes of travel change or don’t change over time through the different stages of the pandemic.
    4. How people are changing their behaviour around trips in terms of frequency and modes used and how these might differ across different journey types.
    5. Understanding what initiatives or interventions could change behaviours, especially in relation to minimising risk of COVID-19 transmission.
    6. As the context and rules of travel change how quickly do people plan or respond to these changes with behaviour change
    7. The consumer segments – what makes them unique, what influences their behaviour and what factors are influencing or changing their behaviour, their tipping points.
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  • Getting people out of 1- and 2-star cars

    Year commissioned

    Project title

    Researcher

    Indicative delivery

    2019/20

    Getting people out of 1- and 2-star cars

    WSP New Zealand

    February 2022

    Purpose and objectives:

    Waka Kotahi have a need to quantify who is buying 1- and 2-star cars and what drives their purchasing decisions, including purchasers understanding of what constitutes a safe vehicle.

    This research is required to guide interventions that will be effective in encouraging lower demand for unsafe cars, thereby reducing their proportion of the national fleet. Therefore, the research will directly support the New Zealand Government’s Road to Zero Action Plan through reducing the number of death and serious injury (DSI) crashes as a result of better driver safety.

    WSP’s research objectives are to:

    1. Investigate, through the literature and published data, who is buying unsafe cars, how safety impacts people’s decisions in buying a car and effective options and interventions to encourage lower demand for unsafe cars.
    2. Identify what owners and potential purchasers associate with a safe car (i.e. features, safety ratings, age of vehicle) and what other features customers look for when purchasing that also influence vehicle safety.
    3. Determine the demographic characteristics of those who purchase and drive unsafe cars and why they are making these purchasing decisions.
    4. Determine whether there are different priorities in purchasing decisions between buyers of 1- and 2-star and 3- to 5-star cars.
    5. Investigate the opportunity to influence 1- and 2-star car owners and purchasers to select a safer car.
    6. Recommend which interventions will have the highest success rate and the relative size of their influence for current and potential 1- and 2- star car owners.
    7. Disseminate the research findings widely through a peer reviewed report and a live, recorded presentation/webinar by the team. We will also provide the full anonymised dataset from the research so this can be made available to other researchers. Associated social media output, prepared by WSP’s communications team and approved by Waka Kotahi, will complement the more formal reporting to broaden the reach of the research findings.
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  • Use of in-vehicle technologies to assist with and encourage safe and efficient driving behaviour
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery
    2019/20 Use of in-vehicle technologies to assist with and encourage safe and efficient driving behaviour TRL Ltd, UK February 2022
    Purpose and objectives:

    The purpose of our proposed research is to enable Waka Kotahi to understand three things with confidence:

    • First, the worldwide evidence linking different such technologies to safety and efficiency improvements in scientific studies and in practice.
    • Second, the extent to which different such technologies are likely to deliver cost-effective improvements specifically in New Zealand, resulting in a list of ‘best fit’ technologies for the country.
    • Third, the best mechanisms for increasing the use of ‘best fit’ technologies in New Zealand; this will include which regulations to prioritize from other jurisdictions, and which technologies should be prioritized for ‘retrofitting’ to older vehicles and fleets in the country.

    This understanding will enable Waka Kotahi to take informed decisions which will in turn lead to improvements in outcomes in at least three focus areas in the New Zealand ‘Road to Zero’ Strategy. These are vehicle safety, work-related road safety, and road user choices. The ‘safe, clean and efficient vehicles’ workstream of the Waka Kotahi Sustainability Action Plan will also benefit.

    There are five specific objectives of our proposed research:

    1. Establish the evidence for the efficacy and effectiveness of in-vehicle technologies to assist with and encourage safe and efficient driving behaviour.
    2. Establish the ‘as-is’ situation in New Zealand regarding the current prevalence of the best-evidenced technologies in the vehicle parc.
    3. Establish the likely relevance of the best-evidenced technologies to the set of vehicles, risk factors and driving behaviours seen in New Zealand.
    4. Establish those mechanisms by which Waka Kotahi can maximize the implementation of the best-evidenced and most-relevant technologies in New Zealand.
    5. Support the implementation roadmap through dissemination activities in New Zealand, to key stakeholders.
      
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  • Alcohol related crash trends
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2019/20

    Alcohol related crash trends

    Abley Ltd

    March 2022

    Purpose and objectives:

    The purpose of the research is to examine how “fit for purpose” alcohol-related crash data is and to study trends in such crashes over the past ten years and their connection with other factors. This includes investigating the way in which data is collected and classified and the extent to which this may be influencing crash trends. It is understood that the outcomes of this research will be used to inform approaches to future data collection, analysis and interventions which seek to encourage safe choices and behaviours, and ultimately to reduce alcohol related DSIs.

    The objectives of the research are as follows:

    1. Review international literature.
    2. Identify existing and potential forms and sources of data and describe their fitness for purpose.
    3. Examine trends in crashes in New Zealand associated with alcohol and draw comparisons with historical data.
    4. Make recommendations on best practice data collection, key variables and analytics, including addressed that the way that data is recorded may have a bearing on crash assessment.
    5. Establish statistical relationships with other changes.
    6. Identify key attitudinal and behavioural factors.
    7. Explain the strengths and limitations of the New Zealand data and what we can legitimately infer from it, including what new data and testing may be required.
    8. Based on the above analyses, recommend any new approaches to data collection, combination, analysis and use.
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  • Drug driving in New Zealand: changes in prevalence over time
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2020/21

    Drug driving in New Zealand: changes in prevalence over time

    Ipsos

    February 2022

    Purpose and objectives:

    The research program will provide greater understanding of the drug driving population to help identify needs for further policy and intervention development and help understand the impact of the new Drug Driving Regime on the prevalence of drug driving.

    Research objectives:

    1. Establish a 'drug driving' prevalance benchmark
      What is the overall prevalence of Drug Driving in NZ before implementing the new regime?
    2. Understand the 'drug driving' population
      Is the prevalence of Drug Driving in NZ different for different sub-sets of the population? What are the demographic and attitudinal profiles of those different population groups?
    3. Track changes over time
      Develop an evaluation framework that can be applied over time, to understand if the new testing regime is reducing drug driving prevalence in NZ.
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  • Consumer awareness, understanding and use of advanced driver-assistance systems currently available in vehicles on NZ roads
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2020/21

    Consumer awareness, understanding and use of advanced driver-assistance systems currently available in vehicles on NZ roads

    Mackie Research Ltd

    November 2021

    Purpose and objectives:

    The research will clarify the understanding and perceptions that New Zealand drivers have of Level 0 to 2 ADAS and of the correct and safe use of Level 0 to 2 ADAS functions. For drivers of vehicles with Level 0 to 2 ADAS capability, the research will build understanding of their engagement, use, and misuse of the technology and their experience of unintended events or consequences. The research findings will inform the development of policy and programmes needed to develop necessary understanding, desired behaviours, and the safe use of Level 0 to 2 ADAS technologies.

    The objectives of the research are:

      1. To improve our understanding of the level of awareness and understanding of New Zealanders around ADAS, including knowledge of how they work and how people should properly interact with them.
      2. To understand what training on the different functionalities people are given when they buy a vehicle with ADAS features.
      3. What is the public acceptance and perceptions of these different technologies and does a vehicle having, or not having them, influence vehicle purchasing decisions?
      4. For people who own vehicles with these technologies, how often are they using them (eg, applies only to technologies where people can turn them on and off). If they turn them off for what reasons are their reasons for turning them off.
      5. Are there ways that people are using these system’s that differs from how or when they were designed to be used, eg, performing non-driving tasks such as texting whilst using lane keeping assist?
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  • Investigation of the external noise emitted from electric buses (e-buses) in NZ and the need for Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems (AVAS) to improve road user safety

    Year commissioned

    Project title

    Researcher

    Indicative delivery

    2021/22

    Investigation of the external noise emitted from electric buses (e-buses) in NZ and the need for Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems (AVAS) to improve road user safety

    MRCagney (NZ) Ltd

    April 2022

    Purpose and objectives:

    This research purpose is to investigate the current operating noise levels of e-buses and diesel buses in urban areas in New Zealand and identify whether there is a need to add an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS) to promote the safety of road users, while still delivering overall reduced noise emission benefits.

     

    The objectives are to:

    1. provide an international and national literature review of the research on the need for AVAS for electric buses and the efficacy of introducing such systems. This should include a summary of any reviews of UNECE Regulation No.138;
    2. determine the current level of noise emission from electric buses (e-buses) and diesel buses operating on NZ roads in comparison with ICE buses and buses internationally;
    3. determine how the current noise level of e-buses and diesel buses is impacting other road users such as disabled people;
    4. document, what are the trade-offs (if any) between different outcomes; and
    5. recommend whether an AVAS for buses is needed to improve road user safety in New Zealand.
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  • Safety interventions and their contribution to mode shift

    Year commissioned

    Project title

    Researcher

    Indicative delivery

    2021/22

    Safety interventions and their contribution to mode shift

    WSP New Zealand Ltd

    March 2022

    Purpose and objectives:

    Waka Kotahi is seeking to determine which safety interventions provide the best opportunities for supporting mode shift, and how that knowledge can be incorporated in decision-making.

     

    The objectives of the research are to:

    1. provide a summary of international and New Zealand research on the subject of safety interventions to support mode shift from private vehicle trips to PT, walking and cycling;
    2. qualitatively and quantitatively describe examples of where safety interventions have supported mode shift, and how this connection is demonstrated;
    3. describe examples of where safety interventions have been unsuccessful in supporting mode shift, and reasons for their failure;
    4. describe the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to measuring connections between safety interventions and mode shift;
    5. identify the range of safety interventions that could be used to support mode shift (broken down by mode) in New Zealand conditions;
    6. describe and analyse two distinct New Zealand case studies that illustrate relationships between safety-focused interventions and mode shift; and
    7. describe how to incorporate measures of the benefits of safety interventions supporting mode shift in existing frameworks, to help optimise investment decisions.
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  • Effect on compliance of alternatives to penalties

    Year commissioned

    Project title

    Researcher

    Indicative delivery

    2020/21

    Effect on compliance of alternatives to penalties

    WSP New Zealand Ltd

    July 2022

    Purpose and objectives:

    Waka Kotahi have a need to understand what alternatives to driver penalties are available, and how effective they are at reducing repeat offending.

     

    WSP’s research objectives are to:

    1. review national and international experience and evidence in relation to the use and efficacy of alternatives to penalties for high risk behaviours;
    2. identify measures already employed and opportunities in New Zealand; and
    3. identify options for how alternatives to penalties could be introduced in New Zealand to support compliance and reduce re-offending, and what benefits might be expected, including impacts on equity for road safety.
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Inclusive access

To enable all people to participate in society through access to social and economic opportunities such as work, education and healthcare.

  • Understanding the transport experiences of disabled people, determining what barriers exist for people wanting to use Total Mobility and exploring new opportunities
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2019/20

    Understanding the transport experiences of disabled people, determining what barriers exist for people wanting to use Total Mobility and exploring new opportunities

    MRCagney (NZ) Ltd

    March 2022

    Purpose and objectives:

    The purpose of this project is to conduct research into the transport experiences of people who live with impairment (commonly referred to as disabilities) and all those who provide services to them across New Zealand, and to identify the future implications for Total Mobility.

    The research objectives are to use an appropriate methodology to identify:

    1. disabled people’s experiences of factors in the New Zealand transport system, including public transport, that enable or block their desired levels of community participation;
    2. factors that enable or block provision and uptake of high-quality Total Mobility services to disabled people;
    3. how Total Mobility-type schemes and initiatives are being delivered in other countries, their key success factors and what relevant lessons for New Zealand can be learned from international experience; and
    4. key emerging technological and social developments impacting on the transport experiences of disabled people, and their implications for delivery of Total Mobility.
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  • Māori aspirations for our transport system (phase one)
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2019/20

    Māori aspirations for our transport system (phase one)

    Tonkin + Taylor Ltd

    February 2022

    Purpose and objectives:

    This research seeks to give expression to the treaty partnership between Māori, Waka Kotahi and the wider transport sector, by providing a foundational understanding of Māori priorities for the transport sector, to inform broader engagement with iwi, hapu and whanau in Phase 2 of this project.

    This research will carry out a series of targeted interviews and undertake a desktop literature review to synthesise the current understanding of:

    • Māori articulation of the transport ecosystem and Māori aspirations for transport in the future; and
    • the impacts that transport has on Māori traditions, aspirations and well-being, and how these have / are changing over time;
    • Identify “who” will/should be consulted for Phase 2 for this research, and how to work collaboratively to address the gaps that exist in current literature, and optimise opportunities identified for the future.
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Resilience and security

To minimise and manage the risk from natural and human-made hazards, anticipate and adapt to emerging threats and recover effectively from disruptive events.

(There are no active research reports in this category)