Australian ITS organizations welcome launch of new Office of Future Transport Technologies


Two of Australia’s leading ITS organizations have welcomed the Federal government’s establishment of a new Office for Future Transport Technologies, which was announced by the country’s Deputy Prime Minister last week.

Michael McCormack, who is also Australia’s Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, launched the foundation of a new Office for Future Transport Technologies, which will support the successful introduction of new transport technologies across the country and develop cohesion with other governments and agencies worldwide.

The new office has been created to strengthen the Federal government’s strategic leadership role in the introduction of new transport technologies across Australia, including connected and autonomous vehicle technologies (CAVs) that are intended to make roads safer. The initiative will also help Australian businesses to take advantage of new opportunities and create a supportive environment for innovation in the rapidly expanding transport and mobility industry.

Commenting on the announcement, Susan Harris, CEO of ITS Australia said, “Australia stands to benefit from the introduction of new transport technologies in many ways. The ITS industry is continually working to deliver safer transport systems, reduce congestion and increase transport options.

“By engaging with the Office for Future Transport Technologies, ITS Australia and the Australian ITS industry can continue to shape future transport in Australia by working with the government to identify projects and products that will improve safety, productivity, accessibility and liveability for Australians in both urban and regional areas – the very aspects the Government wishes to address.”

ITS Australia’s president, Dean Zabrieszach (below), added, “The Australian ITS industry welcomes the government decision to establish this office. The industry has been working within guidelines for autonomous and connected vehicles, but the development of nationally consistent regulations that fit with emerging United Nations regulatory developments, including those relating to privacy and data use, will help guide the industry to standards and outcomes that benefit everyone.

“This new Office also provides an ideal structure to support international collaboration on future vehicle technology such as the recent MoU between the Australian government and the US State of Michigan, that will facilitate future opportunities.”

Ian Christensen (right), managing director of the iMOVE consortium of 44 industry, government and research partners, said, “Australia stands to benefit from the introduction of new transport technologies in many ways. Safer transport systems, less congestion and convenient travel options are all within our reach if we plan and coordinate our efforts effectively.

“Australia is already a recognized leader in some areas of mobility, with big projects such as the AIMES testbed in Melbourne and Cubic Transportation Systems’ NextCity platform in Sydney positioning us on the global stage.

“We can create yet more opportunities with a coordinated and supportive government approach. We look forward to working closely with the Office to deliver outcomes that help all Australians move and deliver more safely and effectively.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).