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Autonomous vehicles will drive ITS innovation

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07 October 2016 - Aurecon’s experts will be speaking to the key issues about safety in driverless vehicles, the increasing effectiveness of transport assets through digitisation, and better transport incident management at the 23rd annual ITS World Congress held in Melbourne this year from October 10 to 14.

Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) are becoming increasingly imperative to all modes of transport. As advanced applications, these systems provide innovative services to ensure transport users are better informed, and allow them to move around our transport network in ways that are more safe and coordinated. ITS technologies include in-vehicle, vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to infrastructure communication systems.

One of Aurecon’s experts, Kim Thomas, Aurecon’s ITS leader - ANZ, has been invited to moderate the first major plenary session on Autonomous Vehicles, and is on a Special Interest Session Panel on accelerating ITS deployment by creating a more diverse workforce.  Kim will also sit on a City of Melbourne panel where she will participate in a discussion around driverless cars and road safety as part of the Melbourne Conversations, along with an eminent panel of researchers and practitioners.

Key challenges for the road and traffic management industry

“Australia will see a gradual introduction of autonomous vehicles (AVs) and we will likely achieve a full autonomous fleet by around 2050, so road and traffic management is going to be an increasingly complex issue in coming years as we integrate smart cars with traditional ones on our urban and rural networks,” she said.

“Improved safety levels and efficiency on our road network are what excite me about our autonomous future. Through the clever use of cooperative technologies and with the lack of incidents from human error, our road networks will be safer, better managed and less congested than ever before,” said Kim.

"However, Aurecon believes that the key challenges ahead for the industry are likely to be the intelligent planning for evolving ITS infrastructure requirements and design of better incident and operations management systems that can leverage the information available from AVs and integrate emergency services, police, councils and public transport into a seamless road network operation that are able to cope with our changing needs."

Kim indicated that Aurecon is currently working closely with a number of Australian state governments and private organisations to tackle these issues. "Australia is one of the countries that can lead innovative approaches to road infrastructure management," she said.

William Cox, Managing Director for Aurecon in Australia and New Zealand and recognised as one of Engineers Australia’s Top 100 most influential engineers, agrees with Kim’s emphasis on the digitisation of infrastructure and ITS.

“We are at a cross roads where, through clever decisions around infrastructure digitisation and ITS, we can enable businesses and communities to maximise the value of built infrastructure while also future proofing those assets,” William said.

He adds that “the focus on increasing Small Medium Enterprise (SME) participation in the economy will play a role in supporting start-up infratech businesses. We are already seeing this in Silicon Valley and in Australia we are keen to see the same focus on infratech as we are currently seeing on fintech.”

A second speaker from Aurecon, Blair Monk, Network Optimisation & Intelligent Transport Systems Leader, will be part of another panel for the Committee for Melbourne Transport Series, contributing to a discussion on better use of existing assets and will be attending a reception for NZ delegates hosted by the Ministry of Transport and the New Zealand Transport Agency.

7 000 delegates from approximately 60 countries around the world will gather in the world’s most liveable city, Melbourne, for what is one the largest global events in transport. The 23rd annual ITS World Congress is focused on innovation and technology and how we can help solve our transport woes by transforming the way we travel.

Taking the reins from previous host city, Bordeaux, France, Melbourne will morph into a technical hub that will offer an array of exhibitors, discussion sessions and presentations that will centre in on topics from big data and smart cities, to automated and connected vehicles.

The Aurecon exhibition booth, where the possibilities of an autonomous future, and seamless mobility will be imagined, is located within the Queensland Pavilion; the official exhibition partner of the ITS World Congress made up of 14 partners including Transport of Main Roads, Queensland, Brisbane City Council, Transmax and Integral Technology Solutions.

More representatives from the Aurecon ITS team will be hard at work during the congress, with six of our people delivering presentations across four topics that include cooperative intelligent transport systems and next generation incident management.

The Queensland Pavilion will be hosting a post-congress technical tour on Multi-modal ITS in Brisbane on Monday, October 17. This technical tour will connect congress delegates with our local experts - showing them behind the scenes of ITS operations in Brisbane.

More about Aurecon’s ITS leaders

Kim Thomas, ITS Leader - ANZ

Kim has extensive global experience across the project life cycle for ITS including high level system requirements analysis; software requirements and testing; infrastructure assessment and gap analysis; ITS delivery program development; system operational reviews. Kim has successfully led infrastructure design and systems engineering teams, and delivered detailed designs on complex projects, locally and internationally.

Blair Monk, Network Optimisation & Intelligent Transport Systems Leader

Blair’s field of specialisation is optimising transport flows using as much of the existing infrastructure as possible while managing congestion and incidents. He is also a leader in connected vehicles, including vehicle to vehicle, infrastructure to vehicle, autonomous vehicles and electric vehicle technologies.

Presentations you won’t want to miss

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

11:00am - 12:30pm

Andrew Craig and Grant Saunders (ITS Qatar) 
Telecommunication Network Strategies for ITS and Smart Cities

4:00pm - 5:30pm

Rich Mitchell and Mark Henaway 
Proposed Methodology for Cooperative ITS Implementation

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

11:00am - 12:30pm 

Kim Thomas and Ramsay Do
Next Generation Incident Management, a review of other industries for transportation management

Thursday, 13 October 2016

2:00pm - 3:30pm

Blair Monk
Western Ring Route Operation Success

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