With Australia’s geographic isolation and long distances between large urban centres, the transport sector will be one area that is both significantly disrupted and revolutionised by technological transformation.
Failure to be prepared will risk a decline in many aspects of our Australian way of life and society.
For example, inadequate planning for population growth and the spread of urban centres could significantly impede the mobility of passengers and freight in both urban and regional areas.
This could increase congestion and vehicle-related emissions, lead to a deterioration in health, safety and security, and negatively impact productivity and the cost of living.
In this early phase of the transition, it is critical that Australia identifies what we want for our society, what action government and industry need to take, and how this will translate to a transport sector for the future.
The Academy has published a major report identifying sustainability and climate change, productivity and health as the three key challenges that will need to be addressed within the transport sector over the next decade.
Specifically, the transport sector will need to lower emissions, improve the efficient movement of people and freight and reduce transport-related deaths and serious injuries.
The deployment of connected and autonomous vehicles, low and zero-emission vehicles, high-frequency mass transport and intelligent transport systems are potential solutions to these challenges.
The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering is undertaking a major three-year (2018–2020) Australian Research Council Learned Academies Special Projects-funded research project to examine the readiness of different Australian industry sectors to develop, adapt and adopt new and emerging technologies, with a horizon out to 2030.
The transport sector is the first industry sector to be examined by the project.
Read Academy President, Professor Hugh Bradlow FTSE, on the report in The Sydney Morning Herald.