2020 was extraordinary for ITS Australia, a year like no other. Like all our members and industry peers, we at ITS Australia were challenged by the ongoing pandemic and the significant demands it created across our business. Pleasingly, with the positive engagement of our partners and team members we were able to adapt to new challenges at pace, with an emphasis on maintaining the vital connections that enable growth and progress in our industry.
Events & Digital Activities
In March, as it became clear that our business would move online, ITS Australia began ramping up its program of webinars. For the past few years we have held regular webinars led by Policy Manager, Stacey Ryan and we were able to swiftly expand our webinar program to provide the industry with a means to connect whilst working from home.
Since March we have held 30 webinars, roughly one each week. These webinars have covered an exhaustive range of topics—encompassing C-V2X, community transport, CAV trials, Vehicle Generated Data, and freight movement—and we have had the opportunity to speak to transport leaders from across the entire country. Often the webinars were an opportunity for us to come together and reflect on the ways that the unfolding pandemic changed our transport networks, our businesses, and our professional lives. The webinars also enabled us to maintain a connection with our peers around the world; our ongoing MAX: Michigan Australia Exchange in Mobility series brings together new mobilities expertise from Australia and the United States.
Throughout the year, ITS Australia’s webinars have been attended by more than 2,000 of our members, and we have had more than 7,000 webinar registrations. The 30+ hours of digital broadcasting that we delivered this year was rich with insight, robust discussion, and new ideas. I give my thanks to all of you who participated in one of our webinars this year.
In September, we held Mobility 2020. Ordinarily held in-person, this year’s Mobility conference became our first-ever fully online conference. Over the two-day program we saw the continued speed of progress in new mobilities, on-demand, and MaaS. We were fortunate to have the Hon. Andrew Constance, NSW Minister for Transport and Roads, open the conference and he was followed by a host of fantastic speakers from across the industry. With more than 300 attendees, from 17 countries, the event was a great success and another valuable way for us all to stay connected this year.
Throughout this year, ITS Australia’s important project and policy work continued, with workshops and reference groups continuing in the online space. In May, we held the inaugural meeting of ITS Australia’s National Transport Data – Community of Practice (CoP). The CoP grew out of the strong interest of ITS Australia’s members in uncovering and accelerating the opportunities for transport that can be gained from data and analytics.
This year, our MaaS National Reference Committee continued to meet regularly. The committee is made up of project participants and representatives from ~50 key organisations to ensure representation by a broad range of professional expertise. Committee members contribute to and collaborate on the development of Mobility as a Service in Australia by sharing updates on activities in respective jurisdictions and organisations; including research, trials, and international engagement. Under the guidance of the committee, we published a discussion paper on MaaS Data Sharing. The paper was led by a working group of subject matter experts with representatives from the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, Department of Transport WA, and the Australian Government Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.
In partnership with our members, ITS Australia works to design relevant and effective research projects to support a range of transport industry activities and goals. In 2020, ITS Australia completed two significant research projects. The first project Unlocking Shared Mobility: Investigating free-flow parking for car-share in Australia explores how across Australia, there is increasingly intense competition for kerbside space and parking. This Unlocking Shared Mobility research is made possible with funding from partners through iMOVE Australia on behalf of the Australian federal government. Project partners are RMIT, IAG, Cubic Transportation Systems, and Royal Automobile Association of SA.
The second project, Connectivity in C-ITS: Investigating pathways to accelerate the uptake of road safety and efficiency technologies
was funded by iMOVE Cooperative Research Centre, the University of Melbourne, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, with support from IAG, Intelematics and Transmax. In the project, researchers focused on understanding cooperative intelligent transport system (C-ITS) technologies that would help drivers in eight main ways including; lane guidance, curve speed, collision avoidance, do not pass and blind spot warnings, intersection movement and right turn assistance, plus pedestrian safety messages.
17th ITS Asia Pacific Forum
At the beginning of the year, and to our great disappointment, we were forced to postpone the planned 17th ITS Asia Pacific Forum. With the tremendous support of our partners, sponsors and exhibitors, the forum will go ahead from Monday 12 – Thursday 15 April 2020. We have partnered with the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, a Queensland Government Department of Health Approved COVID Safe Venue, to provide a safe environment to support a vibrant conference and exhibition. We look forward to hosting 800+ attendees in Brisbane with digital access for speakers and attendees who are unable to attend in person.
With a program featuring more than 70 sessions and over 300 presentations, the forum will offer an immersive experience for all of our delegates and a welcome opportunity for all of us in the industry to reconnect. I hope to see you there.
For the past few years, ITS Australia has monitored the gender diversity of our association, and we are pleased to report back to members. As in previous years, I note that while overall diversity is our goal—and an important one—gender diversity has been selected as an initial focus on the basis that to enhanced gender diversity has been shown to provide a pathway to improve overall diversity.
I am exceedingly pleased to report that over the past year ITS Australia has made modest but meaningful progress as we seek to have greater gender diversity across all parts of the organisation. This graph below highlights that the industry we operate in, based on our membership and event delegates, has 25% or less female representation. This figure represents a 3% increase from 2019. Looking at our other activities, the gender profile is generally more balanced than the industry apart from the board profile and speakers at our events, typically representing the more senior representatives of the industry.