Launch of NTRO ushers in new era for transport research

RA was pleased to attend the official launch of the National Transport Research Organisation (NTRO) at its National Transport Research Centre HQ in Port Melbourne last week.

Joining ARRB and NTRO CEO, Michael Caltabiano, at the launch event as speakers were Paul Younis, Secretary, Victorian Department of Transport and Matt Pinnegar, Chief Executive of the Australian Local Government Association.

ARRB Chair, Peter Woronzow, Director General of the Department of Transport in WA, pointed out that ARRB has been looking after Australia’s 900,000km road asset –  the largest public asset on Australia’s balance sheet – since the 1960s.

Through the NTRO, ARRB will now extend its research and expertise across all modes of transport in Australia and New Zealand – road, rail, ports and airports.

The new entity employs about 240 people located around Australia and shares ARRB’s charter.

Mr Caltabiano said the NTRO’s services include things like providing new datasets about the condition of the transport network to support better asset management plans and a materials testing laboratory. He said NTRO aims to be “transformational” in an era when demand for its services is rapidly changing.

“We are in a world of change. Doing the same thing over and over again, particularly in a recovery environment, is simply unacceptable… as we move into an era beyond certainty.”

Technologies showcased at the event included what Mr Caltabiano called a game changing  intelligent pavement assessment vehicle, as well as driverless vehicle platooning technology developed for the Department of Defence.

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