Australia to establish transport tech office

The Australian government is establishing an Office of Future Transport Technologies to help prepare for the pending arrival of automated vehicles and other transport innovations.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the new office would enhance the federal government’s strategic leadership role, to coordinate more cohesively with other governments and agencies to implement future transport technologies in Australia more successfully and responsibly.

“I expect the Office to collaborate across governments to ensure automated vehicles are safe, to consider future infrastructure needs, to make sure cyber security safeguards are in place, and to support Australian businesses in taking advantage of new commercial opportunities,” he said.

“This new Australian government $9.7m 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.”

The government has also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the US State of Michigan to collaborate on high-tech vehicle and road systems.  McCormack said the MOU was part of the government's agenda to position Australia for safer roads through automated and connected vehicles.

Governor of Michigan Rick Snyder said the MOU built on Michigan's efforts to accelerate the worldwide implementation of connected and automated vehicle technologies.

Earlier this year Oakland County in the Detroit region procured a pilot connected and automated vehicle project under a PPP which has been mooted as a model for roll out across the US. Oakland received bids from global technology and engineering  firms.