Smart Innovation Centre to make NSW transport tech hub


Transport for NSW is seeking partners to help lead the development of driverless vehicles and intelligent transport systems at the state’s new Smart Innovation Centre.

NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said the Western Sydney-based innovation incubator would be a development hub for emerging transport and road technology in the state.

The centre will bring together industry, investors, researchers, government agencies, vehicle manufacturers, technology providers and data analysts to test and develop technology that will improve transport and safety, reduce congestion and drive investment in emerging knowledge industries.

The Centre, which should be fully operational by mid-2017, will also be an incubator for commercial and academic partners wanting to maximise the potential for their technology innovations.

Mr Constance said expressions of interest from industry, investors and academics were due by June 10.

“This government is not prepared to sit around waiting for someone else to come up with the next big innovation around technologies for connected transport – we want to be a part of it,” Mr Constance said.

“The Centre will also help us understand how we need to plan and build road and transport infrastructure to prepare for future technology. “

He said that partnerships with local and international experts would be a key part of the success of the Smart Innovation Centre.

The Centre’s objectives include accelerating and expanding government transport technology research programs by collaborating with industry and universities.

The idea is also to link up with current testing or research, including work around road and vehicle safety, congestion management technology, cooperative intelligent transport systems and better technology around bus priority.

Testing and piloting connected and automated vehicles will be another key focus of the Centre’s work.

Secretary of Transport for NSW, Tim Reardon said the Centre would play a key role in putting NSW at the forefront of applying emerging technologies to improve transport.

“For more than 100 years a road has been a relatively simple piece of infrastructure and a car has been controlled by a driver,” Mr Reardon said.

“Now we’re on the cusp of using our road infrastructure in a much smarter way. That offers some incredibly exciting opportunities for improving the efficiency, accessibility and safety of road travel.

“Transport for NSW is determined not to get in the way of innovation – we want to support and contribute to the next big ideas.

“That’s why we’re preparing now for the eventual arrival of automated vehicles and working with our federal and interstate counterparts to explore the legislative, regulatory and road design changes necessary to allow the introduction of these types of technologies in the future.”

Transport for NSW is inviting expressions of interest from prospective partners in collaborative projects including:

  • Vehicle testing
  • Pilots and demonstrations, mostly in controlled environments such as hospital and business precincts for connected and automated vehicles and associated transport services and technologies.
  • Collaborative research projects which could cover data simulations or modelling of the outcomes of new transport technologies. These will assess the potential benefits and impacts prior to deployment and sponsorship to seed new commercial.

EOIs addressing credentials and proposed areas of involvement should be emailed to by the new deadline of Friday 10 June 2016.

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