Peak bodies from industry, government and academia are appearing in a blitz of public hearings as part of the House Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities’ inquiry into automated mass transit.
On 27-28 February 2019, the Committee will hear from a range of witnesses on the way forward to a cleaner, greener, safer, more efficient transport system using automation and new energy sources.
Committee Chair, John Alexander, says the Committee is keen to learn about the potential for automation and new energy sources to improve economic, social and environmental outcomes.
“The integration of different transport modes into a single seamless transport system should be the goal of governments and industry, and we need to fully investigate the role that automation can have in facilitating this,” Mr Alexander said.
“We have the technology. We need the policies and plans to effectively implement automated transport and new generation fuels. Cooperation across jurisdictions and coordination between government and industry is essential.”
In its submission, Infrastructure Victoria highlighted the potential benefits of automation, noting that on-demand public transport and mobility as a service (MaaS) “could make significant improvements to how we travel’ and, alongside integrated planning and payment for multi-modal trips, could ‘supplement existing public transport services and pave the way for introducing ondemand automated vehicles’. They ‘recommended incorporating on-demand and Maas into the public transport mix in preparation for automation”.
Leading infrastructure provider, Transurban, emphasised the need for policy coordination, stating that “it will be critical for new policies and regulations to be consistent across states and territories, and structured in such a way as to encourage innovation while ensuring public safety”.
Public hearings held on 15 February 2019 in Parliament House, Canberra, saw organisations including ANCAP, Siemens Mobility SAS, CSIRO, Engineers Australia and the Bus Industry Confederation (BIC) present on issues related to both automation and alternative fuels.