Australia must develop Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems policies which are in step with those going on elsewhere around the world or risk being isolated from all the remarkable benefits greater levels of connected and automated driving will bring to our everyday lives, the ITS World Congress in Melbourne was told today (11 October).
In providing his address today to the Congress, Dave Buttner, the President of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries and the President of Toyota Australia, described how a fully integrated, seamless transport network would provide enormous benefits to Australian commuters.
“C-ITS technology will both lower the costs of running your vehicle and reduce its emissions,” Mr Buttner told the Congress.
“A fully managed and integrated road and vehicle network will reduce congestion and get us to our destinations faster, reduce risks, drop our stress levels and increase our productivity. The brave new world of efficient transportation beckons.”
Mr Buttner strongly advocated a collaborative approach between Federal, State and territory governments on policy.
“Since it impacts on so many areas where standards apply – vehicles, their operation, and the environment – the federal government and all states and territories must agree on a common framework,” he said.
Mr Buttner identified that the recently released National Policy Framework for Land Transport Technology set the broad policy approach across governments and outlined how this was important to vehicle manufacturers’ long term planning.
He said that vehicle manufacturers are well-progressed with automated technology, with active safety intervention “now almost commonplace” and that given the fiercely competitive nature of the international automotive industry “those who invest in the research and development, and form the most productive alliances, will be at the forefront”.
“No-one wants to be left behind in this technology race,” he added.
He said that confirmation of the 5.9 Gigahertz spectrum being adopted across Australia as the common digital language of C-ITS was a major step forward.
He also urged Government support for coordinated technical field trials, involving multiple brands and teams working with road, transport and infrastructure engineers to help confront any unique challenges Australian roads, physical conditions and geography may throw up.
“We must have commonality of purpose and regulation right around the country to optimise this great opportunity,” Mr Buttner said.