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  • ITS news
  • Conference Charts Pathway to a Mobility Future Powered by Data and Technology

22 May 2024

Conference Charts Pathway to a Mobility Future Powered by Data and Technology


Reimagining and broadening Mobility as a Service to ‘Mobility as a Feature’ could be the key to realising a holistic multi-modal transport future, delegates at ITS Australia’s Mobility 2024 Conference have heard.

The conversations at the Melbourne conference have set the scene for a critical exploration of the role of mobility in Australia’s transportation landscape at the flagship ITS Australia Summit in Sydney this August.

During a closing panel of experts from government, transport providers, consultancy, and academia, Professor John Nelson from the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies at the University of Sydney led a thought-provoking discussion on the success of Mobility as a Service to date.

“Mobility as a Service (MaaS) has not become mainstream and allowed people the freedom of mobility it was intended to deliver,” said Professor Nelson.

“Future success may depend on reimagining a ‘Mobility as a Feature’ mindset where transport services are delivered within a broader ecosystem of sectors that interact with mobility, such as real estate, banking or telecommunications.”

Professor Nelson called for greater partnerships to achieve mobility outcomes, recognising the transport sector's strong track record in collaborating to achieve results. As well as integrating with other sectors, Professor Nelson argued the need for incentives, financial or otherwise, that reward both transport and non-transport providers as well as end users for evidencing a change in behaviour that delivers a greater uptake of mobility initiatives.

Over two days, Mobility 2024 delegates engaged with insightful presentations that covered a broad range of themes, with data and technology, and sustainable transport standing out as major conversation starters amongst an engaged audience.

The conference opened with a big-picture exploration of the role of data in the mobility landscape underpinned by three insightful case study presentations. In a joint talk by Deloitte Director Steph Bradley and Victorian Department of Transport and Planning ITS Senior Manager William Ho, attendees were given insight into a partnership that has revolutionised the management of the state’s transport networks. As part of DTP’s Smarter Roads Program, Deloitte leveraged their Optimal Reality Platform to create a digital replica of DTP’s networks and physical assets, delivering access to real-time data and enabling traffic managers to make better decisions to reduce congestion.

Mobility 2024 Program Committee Co-Chair Jessica Tong from Kapsch TrafficCom Australia acknowledged this year's program's strong focus on data and reiterated the opportunities to leverage data and technology to deliver change.

“Whether it’s to model transport growth and efficiency or provide insights that improve safety, it’s all about data, driven by digital tools, and integrated with our transport network,” said Ms Tong.

The rapid deployment of machine learning and artificial intelligence will only enhance our access to insights that can support decision-making and transform the transport experience for end users.

Jessica Tong / Program Committee Co-Chair (Kapsch TrafficCom Australia)

The conference program also featured an expanded focus on sustainability, reflecting industry-wide recognition of the need to fast-track our progress toward decarbonising the transport sector. Ben Haddock, Future Mobility Lead at Arup, outlined a 10-point whole-of-journey approach to the future of shared, connected, and autonomous mobility aimed at delivering a sustainable transport system.

Supporting this big-picture thinking was a series of case studies showcasing real-world sustainability solutions being delivered in Australia and internationally. One such example came from Mark Peters, Executive General Manager of E-Mobility and Fleet Innovation at Transit Systems, who highlighted the expansion of their zero-emission bus fleet supported by smart charging infrastructure and the electrification of bus depots, recognising the need for a sustainable mindset across both vehicles assets and supporting infrastructure.

“We’re hearing from our industry that decarbonising the transport sector extends far beyond the roll-out of electric vehicles, and a shift to sustainable and healthy mobility is a key opportunity to realise a sustainable transport sector,” said Susan Harris, Chief Executive of ITS Australia.

As we’ve learned over two days, innovative sustainable mobility solutions are happening across the country; the challenge for our sector and policymakers is to deliver these solutions at scale and influence transport users to embrace a mobility mindset.

Susan Harris / CEO, ITS Australia

Many of the issues debated at Mobility 2024 will be front and centre in the ITS Australia Summit 2024 program, which launches this week. Over, three days, the who’s who of Australia’s ITS sector will gather at Sydney’s International Convention Centre to explore approaches to safe, sustainable and inclusive transport for vibrant communities by leveraging the ever-expanding capabilities of technology.

Over more than 40 sessions, featuring at least 150 speakers, the ITS Summit 2024 will bring together critical transport issues facing the nation. It will create an environment for leaders across industry, policy, and academia to collaborate, learn from best practice examples, and collaborate to forge new partnerships and solve the challenges that will deliver a safer, more sustainable, and inclusive transport system for Australia.

For more about the ITS Australia Summit, 13 - 15 August, Sydney, click here.

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