Transport summit drives home importance of intelligent systems

Standards consistency and common platforms adoption are critical to the future of Australia’s transport infrastructure, according to delegates at a recent transport systems conference.

The Australian Intelligent Transport Systems Summit, held last week in Queensland, brought together 300 transport industry professionals from 15 countries, all focussed on translating strategies into action plans for their respective markets.

According to Summit representatives, attendees agreed that the key enabler to the improvement to Australia’s air, road, rail and shipping infrastructure will be a new set of communication and control system standards which are consistent across all jurisdictions.

Common standards and platforms are required if Australian transport companies are to adopt smart technologies to move forward safely, productively, and with the environmental in mind, conference delegates reported.

ITS Australia President Dr Norm Pidgeon said transport is a significant factor in determining a nation’s safety, environmental, social and economic performance.

"Australian industries and governments now recognise that ITS technologies greatly enhance performance," said Pidgeon.

"We need an international approach to ITS to avoid costly clashes in transport standards and systems that hampered our networks in the past. And, as Australia is a global leader in some areas of ITS, it is equally important that we engage vigorously in the international debate to influence ITS standards.

"If we collaborate in the development of these high level technologies, we will be prepared with the systems in place to deploy them in Australia as they become available. We must remain at the forefront of the development and deployment of ITS to ensure Australia performs at world’s best practice.”

Summit delegates agreed on this action plan:

• Implement a consistent ITS business architecture approach to systems development and deployment.
• Collaborate locally and globally with transport systems stakeholders to streamline the development of ITS in Australia.
• Engage with the new technologies, such as social media outlets, while taking care to ensure that human machine interface and privacy issues are protected.
• Continue development and deployment of vehicle to infrastructure technologies to continue to improve road and rail networks.
• Capture the potential in the rapid development of vehicle to vehicle communication systems.
• Research and evaluate ITS technologies in terms of safety, sustainability and productivity, and communicate the benefits delivered to transport stakeholders.
• Focus on the great potential for improved data collection about and communication between different modes of transport to help users choose the best option available.

Australia’s transport infrastructure has been under scrutiny this past month for failing to keep up with its foreign neighbours when it comes to intelligent transport systems.

Earlier this year, significant problems associated with Sydney’s $3.6 billion Waratah train project further highlighted the need for greater standards across transport infrastructure, as well as highllighting the capabilities Australian manufacturing companies could offer to big projects in the sector.

Just last week, The National Party hit out at the carbon tax, claiming that the transport industry would suffer greatly under the tax, with 100,000 business using diesel or petrol expected to bear the brunt of the new tax.

During last week’s Summit, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Taiwan and Australian Intelligent Transport Systems industry bodies.

Also during the Summit, Intelematics Australia announced the availability of SUNA TPEG, a technology suite capable of providing real time traffic and motorist information and public transport data on the global Transport Protocol Experts Group standard system.

The two-day conference was joined by an exhibition featuring 18 technology displays. 

The Summit was hosted by the Queensland Government Department of Transport and Main Roads from 20 to 22 September.

Image: efarming.com.au