Reading some of comments here reminds me of how much angst there was when block signalling took over from time block signal, and the countless other implemented ideas that have lead to improvements in safeworking and management of trains across the network.
I will hold my opinion in reserve for when the system is fully implemented. A shocking concept for Railpage, but it seems far more appropriate then the "the sky will be falling in" style that some posters across these boards have.
At the risk of venturing off topic on this highly pure thread, I think the angst in relation to the move from time interval
to block working, interlocking and continuous automatic brakes was more about the money. It was sometimes embellished with colourfully pseudophilosophical arguments about drivers not taking responsibility for their actions etc. but most arguments could be traced to money in one way or another. Private railways had been giving shareholders respectable returns at one point, but mandated safety technology probably put a dampener on things. I'd feel safer under the block system than time interval, even if it occasionally meant I got delayed, waiting for the train ahead to definitely arrive at the next station/clear the next signal overlap, instead of merely waiting a few minutes before charging off into the fog, hoping that the guard of the train ahead laid dets if his train broke down. I'd also feel safer knowing that when I entered a station, there would not be an engine shunting on the main line, headed straight towards me. The technology had been around for awhile, but because it wasn't mandatory, people were still getting killed and something had to be done. That was the UK in 1889. Australian colonies mostly followed suit.
Despite inventing the automatic air brake and being a leader in power signalling technology, America was slower to actually adopt the signalling and interlocking side of things, but there were always exceptions like the recent development of ATMS-style positive train control (PTC) systems, e.g. the Wabtec electronic train management system (ETMS) and several others including some of the same people involved in ATMS. In the US, where some signalling systems have simply been switched off and the line reverted to a modern form of "dark territory", money was again the main factor. It's cheaper just to have a central train dispatcher planning everything, with only non-interlocked points thrown by train crews at loops and sidings. It works on quieter lines as an alternative to spending millions on signal renewal projects but isn't much good for busy, high speed passenger lines.
You could say ATMS is also about money, or rather a lack of it, right? Among other things, they have accepted that money for conventional infrastructure boosts is going to be hard to come by, and are trying to maximise the efficiency of the network they have. It's also an opportunity to incorporate extra safety measures without the cost and restrictions of fixed block signalling. Nothing wrong with that; I'm certainly not saying that ATMS is dangerous, but that doesn't mean the system won't have its weaknesses or less impressive aspects, because most do. If it turns out to be extremely reliable, that's great. But if a wireless comms link or some other failure crashes the system, I'll laugh as I do when telemetry failures crash conventional remote control systems, or semaphore signal wires snap. Given the other benefits on offer, the occasional system meltdown is a price the powers will probably be willing to pay. As for the possibility of the system being cut back or scrapped, or for a partial privatisation of ARTC, it's hardly unknown for those things to happen in the Australian rail landscape, but you still could call it worthless speculation due to a lack of evidence and even appeal to the mods to silence such idle talk, if you liked... On the other hand, the "speculators" and fear mongers could respond that until the system is fully implemented, any claims and projections from its proponents about what it supposedly will do are also speculation even if they have a rational basis; sure to go down like a lead balloon. Welcome to the world of online discussion fora. Not all of it is scientific grade fact, or intended to be taken seriously. Most people are smart enough to tell the difference.
I look forward to seeing your reserved opinion post implementation, along with the hard facts of the system's performance that will become available.