Victoria to get Intelligent Transport Systems forum

Summary:The Victorian government has allocated AU$100,000 in funding for a new forum designed to place Victoria at the forefront of the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) market.The Victorian Intelligent Transport Systems Network (ITSVIC) is a collaboration between ITS Australia (ITSA) and Multimedia Victoria.

The Victorian government has allocated AU$100,000 in funding for a new forum designed to place Victoria at the forefront of the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) market.

The Victorian Intelligent Transport Systems Network (ITSVIC) is a collaboration between ITS Australia (ITSA) and Multimedia Victoria. ITS Australia said of the initiative that it "is a forum in which industry leaders will come together with representatives of government to determine how technology may best be harnessed to meet present and future transportation needs".

ITS Australia is a not-for-profit organisation which promotes the use of advanced technologies to improve passenger and freight transport in the nation. The organisation is composed of industry, government and consumer organisations as well as members of the academic world. Multimedia Victoria is the Victoria state government agency responsible for implementing the state's ICT policy.

Launching the initiative, the Victorian Minister for Information and Communication Technology Marsha Thomson said Victoria had a real opportunity to establish itself as a centre of excellence in ITS. -We are well placed to take advantage of the enormous global potential of ITS technologies," said Thomson. "The US market for ITS alone, is estimated to grow from about AU$5 billion to AU$35 billion by 2010".

Thomson went on to clarify the role of ITSVIC, saying it "will represent the Victorian industry at events and trade fairs" and that "an ITS delegation will accompany me to Aichi in June as part of the Japan [ITS] World Expo".

ITSA executive director Brent Stafford told ZDNet Australia  "We have great companies developing and deploying ITS technologies, but we must not allow these significant advances to occur in isolation from one another, if we are to avoid technology 'break of gauge' issues from developing. Fragmentation of our systems and incompatibility between the various parts of our transport infrastructure could delay the roll-out of these supportive technologies".

According to Thomson, ITS systems are already in use in everyday applications like taxi dispatch systems, traffic control systems, car navigation systems, toll tags and ticketing smart cards. And Stafford believes the potential applications are endless. "The latest wave of technology will see red light cameras superseded by intelligent poles (i-poles) which will communicate with vehicles approaching a traffic light and automatically stop a car from going through a red light inadvertently or deliberately," said Stafford.

Over 60 organisations have registered their interest in the ITSVIC initiative, which builds upon an April 2004 announcement that the Victorian state government would establish a National Intelligent Transport Systems Centre of Excellence in Melbourne.

Topics: Government : AU

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