The strong Intelligent Transport System Australia delegation attending the 21st ITS World Congress contributed to the program, exhibition and to meetings of senior professionals. The major insight we gained from this World Congress was that “ITS policy will be more collaborative”.
Another key message for Australia was that V2V technologies are now coming and so are automated vehicles. These technologies will bring important benefits to the community, including increased safety, and all stakeholders must now get on board to facilitate the introduction of these systems.
The Australian delegation was also delighted at the welcome we received. The ITS Australia reception held at Cliff Bell’s Jazz Bar was very successful. Our guest enjoyed networking and collaborating the “Aussie” way.
Significant value was gained by all of our delegates from the excellent exchange of ideas and experiences at the World Congress. This outline identifies some key ideas that ITS Australia is gratefully taking away from the World Congress.
Safety and “green” are priorities
Among the major points accepted by delegates at the World Congress was the fact that connectivity is the biggest single enabler for the deployment of ITS technologies to improve the safety and efficiency, and reduce the energy use of transport systems.
Connectivity will contribute to achieving all of these objectives and is changing the vehicles themselves, the massive intelligent infrastructure needed and encompasses all mobility sectors. Mobility is a critical part of urbanisation.
An important part of ITS is the data it generates to enable analysis and systems operation. This World Congress highlighted the need to share the “big data” accumulated across silos to ensure we are on the right track, all the while remembering that the data belongs to the consumer.
To achieve these goals and serve the community, the ITS industry must continue to reach out to all transport stakeholders. Demand for integrated mobility will grow rapidly as consumers change behaviour by adopting car sharing, public transit options, transport information services and electrification of personal vehicles, such as cars and bicycles.
Debate about the impact of generational change was a valuable part of the World Congress. We heard that the millennial generation are treating cars differently. They care less about horsepower and more about connectivity and this is rapidly changing the focus of urban mobility. This cohort values access and convenience. To them sharing is the new owning.
Advancing automation will help progress these changes. Congress delegates discussed the importance of projecting automated vehicles as an aid to mobility. We must emphasise that we are trying to enhance human capability – not replace the human.
Real progress in making automated vehicles a reality will require the electronics and vehicle manufacturing sectors to create and adopt global standards. It will also require components such as sensors to reduce significantly in cost.
The industry bodies, including ERTICO, ITS America and ITS Asia Pacific, have committed to working hard towards establishing a global ITS network to help facilitate the collaboration required. This network is a vital link in connecting other formal structures such as the standards committees and other harmonization work being undertaken.
ITS is already delivering huge benefits to communities. To help ITS deliver on its promising future for mobility, the industry must embrace collaboration on a global scale. At this World Congress, the ITS community took significant steps toward defining and adopting that collaboration. There was a shift in emphasis from “tests and trials”, as discussed at past conferences, to model deployments and targeted rollouts of technology.
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