The Future of Transport

In October 2016, Transport and Main Roads (TMR) took part in the 23rd World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS).
This congress attracted some 11,500 delegates from across 73 countries, gathering in Melbourne to share the latest developments in transport technology.
Below is a video showing what our technical tour delegates got to do and see while in Brisbane.

Music by Dyalla Swain –

Here are a selection of photos from the 2016 ITS World Congress.

TMR receiving the Local Government Hall of Fame Award for the Real-time Initiative
TMR receiving the Local Government Hall of Fame Award for the Real-time Initiative (Photo courtesy of Pulse Photography)
Highly automated vehicle demonstration
Highly automated vehicle demonstration (Photo courtesy of Pulse Photography)
Plenary session on Smart Cities
Plenary session on Smart Cities (Photo courtesy of Pulse Photography)

We are in the process of capturing our learnings from the ITS World Congress to help us plan for the transformation in the transport system that will occur over the coming years.

Some of our key takeaways from the congress are

  1. We are well positioned: The department is actively planning for the introduction of new technology across a range of transport domains. We are constantly investigating the potential of new technology and how it can help address our transport challenges.  For example, using new data sources – such as crowdsourced and Bluetooth data – to help monitor the performance of the transport network in real-time. Or providing customers with access to real-time information on various transport modes. A number of papers presented by TMR employees at the congress were centered on sharing our learnings from planning for and implementing ITS, which received a lot of interest and questions.
  2. The timing of major technology change is uncertain: Connected and automated vehicle technology is advancing rapidly, but there is still a considerable journey ahead to reach full connectivity and autonomy. There are a wide range of views around the timing of this, but TMR is already planning for how these technologies can be incorporated into the transport system of the future and what their impact might be.
  3. GIS and big data are important enablers: As the ‘world gets instrumented’ (as one speaker commented at the congress) and many millions of things become connected and transit data, the value of spatial and big data technologies becomes increasingly important. We’ve been doing a lot of work in TMR to improve our spatial data capability, and we are looking to how we can continually use big data to improve our transport services.
  4. Technology is changing many aspects of transport: While transport technology has traditionally been focused on areas like traffic control and traveller information services, it is now much broader in scope and touches many areas of TMR’s business. It is changing how we regulate use of the transport system, how we meet our customers need for information before and during their journeys, how we operate a multi-modal network to achieve integration and minimise the impacts of incidents, and how our customers travel on the network. Technology change will have a profound impact on transport into the future and so it’s important to keep up to date with developments to ensure we continue to meet our customer’s expectations.

You can find more information on the 2016 ITS World Congress website.

Feature image courtesy of Pulse Photography.