Australian ITS industry bids for cooperative research centre

Australian ITS industry bids for cooperative research centre

ITS Australia chief executive officer Susan Harris.

Australia’s Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) industry is lodging a bid with the Federal Department of Industry, Innovation, Science and Research to secure funding for a Cooperative Research Centre (CRC).

The industry’s objectives for the CRC in Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) include ensuringAustralia’s position in the global development of ITS technologies and facilitating the deployment of ITS acrossAustralia.

The preparation of the bid reflects the need for a strong government and industry partnership, as flagged in the Policy Framework for Intelligent Transport Systems inAustraliathat was endorsed by all Australian Transport Ministers at the Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure (SCOTI) meeting in November 2011.

The C-ITS bid leader isGriffithUniversityand the campaign enjoys significant industry support. ITS includes in-vehicle and infrastructure based technologies to improve the performance of transport systems. Common applications include traffic signal and traffic flow systems, navigation and parking aides, tolling and security systems.

ITSAustraliaChief Executive Officer Susan Harris said the Australian industry had achieved a high level of maturity in terms of both systems development and deployment. “This has created widespread recognition of the safety, environmental and economic benefits delivered by the ITS technologies we already have in place,” she said.

“Internationally, the Australian ITS industry has recognised strengths, especially in navigation, traffic management and tolling operations. It is timely to move the industry to the next level inAustraliaand internationally by accelerating investment in research and development.

“The CRC project based industry engagement concept has been successfully applied to a number of fields inAustraliaand has delivered a high rate of return on the investment in terms of business growth, job creation and export income.

“ITS is an ideal industry to return important community benefits using the CRC model. Recognising this, both corporate and public sector organisations have committed funds to finalise the C-ITS submission to the department.

“At the ‘user’ end of the CRC model, we have already experienced an outstanding level of commitment by companies, education and research organisations to fund individual research and development projects to an estimated value of $20 million.

“We anticipate that projects funded through the C-ITS will drive consistency and compatibility in technologies, and increase harmony of systems across state and territory and international borders. This will help to ensure Australia remains a key player in global ITS, enabling the local industry to become more proactive in addressing multi-disciplinary transport needs and make Australian transport safer, more environmentally friendly and more internationally competitive,” said Susan Harris.

SCOTI endorses national ITS policy framework document

A significant advancement for ITS inAustraliawas approval of the Policy Framework for Intelligent Transport Systems inAustraliaby the Australian Transport and Infrastructure Senior Officials Committee in September 2011. This approval was endorsed by the Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure in November 2011.

The policy identifies national policy principles and priority action areas for ITS and recognises the key role that ITSAustraliaplays as the peak industry body. It also provides a schedule of projects being undertaken by government and industry to enable new technologies.

Specifically, the document states the framework will:

  • Guide the consistent implementation, integration and uptake of ITS nationally across all land transport modes.
  • Promote innovation and competition through interoperable and, where possible, open access and open architecture ITS solutions.
  • Provide standardisation for important national and interdependent supplier/provider systems.
  • Provide an umbrella for specific sectoral initiatives, which will continue to be developed consistent with the principles and objectives of this framework.
  • Facilitate the efficient and rapid uptake of ITS solutions that meet consumer demands, driven by the perceived usefulness and benefits of the technology.

Susan Harris said ITSAustraliawelcomes this outcome. “The framework was developed to guide consistent application of the policy principles, to achieve the most cost effective implementation, integration and uptake of ITS nationally across all transport modes,” she said.

“The Federal Government expects ITSAustraliato play a lead role in developing the strategy and engaging the industry in its implementation. We look forward to progressing the Policy Framework with all government and industry stakeholders.

“The bid for a CRC and the adoption of the Policy Framework document by SCOTI are important achievements focusing national attention on ITS and accelerating the industry into a productive year in 2012,” said Susan Harris.

ITSAustraliais also continuing to work with international connections to progress its bid to host the 23rd World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems in 2016 inMelbourne,Australia.


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