ITS Australia says NeTC Conference tackled challenges awaiting country’s toll industry

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ITS Australia is hailing the success of its 13th annual National electronic Tolling and Charging (NeTC) conference, which took place in Melbourne, Victoria, last week (June 6-7), with the organization noting that the event remains as relevant today as when it was created in 2006.

As the conference’s hosts, ITS Australia reflected that while the topics have progressed to include how connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) might interact with toll road infrastructure, the challenges of keeping transport moving across the country remain top of the agenda. The emergence of increasingly connected and automated vehicles is expected to lead to fundamental changes to roads, transport and cities in the future. Australian and global tolling leaders that gathered for the two-day event discussed these challenges and the changes in the flow of vehicles on the roads to more easily accommodate all journeys.

NeTC attendees also looked at other approaches that are looking to minimize the impact of heavy vehicles and freight on the country’s roads, to keep heavy vehicles and freight to the main arterial roads and away from local streets. Telematics technology also featured as a hot topic, with proof-of-concept activity investigating toll road use and identifying potential toll road solutions for heavy vehicles and freight.

“The Conference provides an exciting opportunity for government, industry and academia to share their knowledge, form partnerships and discuss new technologies that could help overcome current and future transport challenges,” said Tom Walker, CEO of Cubic Transportation Systems, which was the major sponsor of NeTC2018.

“Transport serves us best when all modes are connected. With multi-modal transportation at the core of future mobility services, tolling needs to become part of the wider mobility as a service trend. This offers an exciting opportunity for tolling agencies to appeal to a wider number of commuters who may not typically consider toll roads as part of their journey.”

Conference attendees also heard updates from international speakers including Q-Free ASA’s chief technologist, Knut Evensen, who noted that, “Australia is among the leaders in standards and deployments in connected vehicle infrastructure. While urban ITS is a quickly growing field with strong links to smart cities, automated mobility and big data, there is a need for standards to be developed to ensure future road tolling technology will be one of the primary toolkits to achieve the needs of future smart cities mobility.”

Susan Harris, CEO of ITS Australia, commented, “NeTC2018 has again exceeded our expectations in terms of forward thinking, transport technology-related activities. There were many insightful presentations by our speakers, and we’re looking forward to seeing the next wave of infrastructure projects in this arena.

“The NeTC conference is a forum for all areas of industry to meet and talk about how the future of road infrastructure will interact with many areas of transport technology, and how the industry will keep transport moving in times of increased road use. To help this aim, we will continue to host this conference for the leaders in this space.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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