ITS Australia has welcomed the transport industry’s final application to the Federal Government’s A$653m (US$497.6m) Cooperative Research Centers (CRCs) Program, which has been established to solve industry-identified challenges through outcome-focused collaborative research partnerships.
ITS Australia is a member of the transport industry’s iMOVE CRC consortium, which is one of seven shortlisted applicants for the funding. The final CRC outcomes are expected in early 2017, with funding to commence by mid-year. With a focus on developing substantial improvements to the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of Australian industries and the economy, iMOVE CRC’s bid is ITS industry-led and outcome focused. The iMOVE CRC is tackling the growing challenges to the efficient movement of people and freight. It is exploiting the digital revolution and evolving technologies, such as connected and autonomous vehicles, to enable traffic to flow more smoothly, create more efficient connections between transport modes, and provide choice to travelers and freight operators through real-time information. In this way, it will deliver reduced congestion, fuel use and emissions, and improved national productivity and international competitiveness.
Australia is a world leader in intelligent transport systems. Last year, South Australia hosted the Southern Hemisphere’s first driverless car trial, and earlier this month, nearly 11,500 delegates from 73 countries attended the 23rd ITS World Congress in Melbourne. The Congress was officially opened by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and supported by Federal, State and international Governments, as well as city and local councils.
“We are entering an era of unprecedented change in transport, with more traffic, changes in business models, increased levels of connectivity and automation in vehicles, and opportunities to benefit greatly from increased information,” noted Ian Christensen, iMOVE CRC’s bid leader. “We are excited to partner with ITS Australia and 45 other proactive organizations in bringing this initiative to fruition, and look forward to the opportunity to use our expertise in delivering world-class research for the benefit of all iMOVE CRC partners, and to industries, businesses, cities and communities.”
ITS Australia’s CEO, Susan Harris, commented, “Congestion currently costs the Australian business and community A$16.5bn (US$12.5bn) per year. It is expected to reach A$37bn (US$34bn) per year by 2030. To tackle congestion, transport safety and efficiency, it is important to have accurate, reliable and real-time data and information. The Federal Government’s CRC Program is an opportunity to establish the right structures and platforms for governments, industry and researchers to develop intelligent transport systems and infrastructure, to find end-to-end freight solutions and enhance personal mobility. ITS Australia congratulates the iMOVE CRC team on such a strong bid, reflecting the strength of the ITS industry in Australia. We back this bid 100% and look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with governments, agencies, industry, and communities to improve productivity, international competitiveness and journeys, as well as continuing to enhance Australia’s position as a global leader in ITS.”