The federal government has announced a new $9.7 million investment in an Office for Future Transport Technologies, which it says will prepare for the pending arrival of automated vehicles and advanced transport technology.
The announcement was made by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack on Thursday.
Minister McCormack said the the new federal office was intended to implement future transport technologies in Australia responsibly by coordinating with other governments and agencies in a strategic role.
“The Australian future transport and mobility industry is expected generate more than $16 billion in revenue by 2025. While representing an emerging business opportunity for the national economy, these technologies also have great potential to reduce the $27 billion cost of road crashes in Australia each year,” he said.
“These advances can also help to reduce the significant social impacts that road deaths and injuries have on families and the wider community.”
Minister McCormack quoted Roads Australia as describing automated vehicles and other new transport technologies as ‘game changers’ for safety, in their response Inquiry into the National Road Safety Strategy.
“This new Australian Government $9.7 million investment will ensure the regulatory settings are workable and nationally consistent, that they fit with emerging United Nations regulatory developments and are consistent with related Commonwealth policies and laws; including those relating to privacy and data use,” he said.
The announcement has been welcomed by Intelligent Transport Systems Australia, peak body for advanced transport technologies in Australia.
Dean Zabrieszach, President of ITS Australia welcomed the move to develop nationally consistent regulations, and noted its potential to foster international collaboration.
“This new Office also provides an ideal structure to support international collaboration on future vehicle technology such as the recent MOU between the Australian Government and the US State of Michigan, in collaboration with ITS Australia, that will facilitate future opportunities,” he said.
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