The land down under turns up the lights for the 2016 ITS World Congress in Melbourne, Australia. Charlotte Jover provides the warm welcome.
As we enter the New Year, it’s time to turn our collective attentions to Australia, where the world’s most liveable city Melbourne is set to welcome an international contingent and host the 23rd World Congress from 10-14 October 2016.
In recognition of the city’s five-year running title, the Congress theme will be “ITS – Enhancing Liveable Cities and Communities”, with host national body ITS Australia promising to deliver one of the ‘most outstanding congresses yet.’ Boasting the world’s largest continually operating tram network, Australia’s integrated tram, train and bus network will provide World Congress visitors the opportunity to experience our tram tracker service and other real time traveller information services – very much a theme that is enhancing our community.
Currently examining the strong submission for papers we have received, presentations at the Congress will focus on the below thematic options:
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES OF BIG OPEN DATA
Collection, transmission, and analytics including crowd-sourced and V2X data; Privacy and inter-agency issues; Evolution from sparse infrastructure-based sensor to ubiquitous vehicle based sensing and real-time predictive traveller information.
SMART CITIES AND NEW URBAN MOBILITY
User experience, quality of travel, connectivity and traveller information, future traffic management; Changing models for vehicle use sharing and ownership; Seamless mobility and public transport. Rural areas.
VEHICLE AND NETWORK SAFETY
Interventional systems for connected vehicles; Smart, safe infrastructure and support for augmented or automatic vehicles.
COOPERATIVE AND AUTOMATED VEHICLES
Increasing augmentation of human driver capabilities; Convergence of sensing, communications and automatic control; Infrastructure requirements for an increasingly automated fleet.
Seamless connectivity and convergence of mobile devices and transport platforms; Traveller information, payment, ticketing, crowd sourcing, incentivisation and gamification.
Efficiency of the freight task, automated freight and logistics; Differentiated quality of service and last mile efficiency; Multimodal approaches and interfaces.
POLICY, STANDARDS AND HARMONIZATION
Supportive technology and regulatory frameworks for accelerated deployment and asking the question: How can we continue to strengthen these foundations for success and continue to address issues such as liability and privacy?
Brian Negus, ITS Australia President and ITS World Congress 2016 Chair says: “Australia is at the forefront of development and deployment of ITS technologies in many fields. With a unique landscape Australia’s ITS industry has risen to the challenge of delivering solutions to enhance our daily lives.
“This will be an opportunity for policy makers, practitioners, researchers and ITS providers to share information on big data analytics, smart cities, vehicle and network safety, cooperative and automated vehicles, future freight and many other innovations in ITS.
“By 2016, living in an ever-connected world, these themes will be even more pressing in our busy cities and communities. This World Congress will be Australia’s opportunity to foster further international cooperation in unleashing the power of ITS.”
This year, the demonstrations program is shaping up to be a highlight of the event, with industry leaders such as BMW, Bosch, Cohda Wireless, Intelematics, Kapsch and Q-Free locked in to showcase what to expect in their future plans.
Set to take place at Albert Park, only a short 10 minute drive from the world class Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre, these planned demonstrations have attracted strong interest from around the world, with some innovative and groundbreaking approaches to ITS, connected and autonomous vehicles.
“The demonstrations location. that consists of multiple intersections, allowing for speeds up to 50km/h, is a picturesque combination of urban and open space,” ITS World Congress Demonstrations Chair, Chris Koniditsiotis explains.
“It will provide valuable insights into the different kinds of interactions that will exist between drivers and vehicles in the future and highlight the challenges that will come from their operation.”
Technical tour program
Not only will delegates experience the beauty of the Australian landscape, but visitors can also extend their visit to Auckland, New Zealand as part of a pre-conference ITS tour. Post congress, delegates will have opportunity to extend the congress experience with a Technical Tour of the Sydney Harbour Bridge traffic operations centre.
Student engagement program
Out of the programs we are hosting, our student engagement program is a standout of the Congress which is headed by the Scholarship Initiative, with the aim of fostering young ITS professionals and students from across Asia Pacific in our ITS Future Innovators Club.
Established as a program to recognize student excellence in the Asia Pacific region, the program has provided 10 university students the opportunity for continued learning, to create new networks, link with key industry bodies and showcase their skills.
Designed to give future innovators access to world leaders and resources to shape the future of transport technology. As ITS Australia CEO Susan Harris explains, “we’ll be looking to our 10 students to extend their continued performance and leadership, create strong and beneficial relationships with key industry bodies, and showcase these when they join us in Melbourne for the 23rd World Congress in October 2016.”
Additionally, the congress is also looking to engage local primary and secondary students, to build interest, awareness and capability, as students are challenged to develop model automated vehicles and present these along with their view of smart city designs in front of professionals and delegates at the World Congress.
It is also fair to say ITS Australia is planning an equally ambitious social program – understandably, Australia may be a fair way to travel for some, so a wide variety of social activities are on offer to entice delegates to make it a family trip down under. Along with the official events and activities of the Congress, additional social functions around the city, including a Twilight Aussie Barbeque at Melbourne Zoo and a Great Chefs tour that will take you deep into the city’s culinary underbelly, are just two events not to be missed.
The Gala Dinner will extend to include a secret bar-hopping tour to some of Melbourne’s best hidden cocktail lounges, bars and clubs in the historic docklands precinct.
Hosting a successful event in Sydney at the 2001 World Congress 15 years ago, we will be sure to build on that experience, and follow suit with a bigger and even better event in Melbourne in 2016.
There is definitely a huge potential for ITS technologies to accommodate the growing demand for transport in Melbourne, complimented with strong public acceptance of new technology. Beyond that we hope that Melbourne will provide a foundation to increase deployment of ITS technology in the Asia Pacific region with strong support already from leading Asia Pacific organisations.