New skills needed for decarbonisation and data-driven transport services

RA was in attendance at this week’s iMOVE Conference in Sydney, which heard that the decarbonisation agenda and the greater integration of data will require the sector’s workforce to be equipped with new skillsets.

Former NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Andrew Constance, reminded the conference that transport contributes 30% of emissions and the sector will need a new set of skills from industry and academia to solve that.

He also noted it was important to balance the value of seamless data sharing with protection of intellectual property value and security issues around keeping the community safe. “If you’re dealing with mobility data, particularly, therein lies an enormous challenge,” he said.

Simon Hunter, the Chief Transport Planner at Transport for NSW, spoke about the NSW vision for future transport and its $45m Smart Places Acceleration Program to stimulate development of new connected technology and data solutions.

He encouraged attendees to think about this century’s big sources of movement innovation, pointing to examples of where, as in smart cities, technology is ubiquitous yet in the background. “It’s about technology on the ground that helps people make better decisions,” he said.

Mr Hunter pointed out NSW is set to become Australia’s first “trillion-dollar state” and will continue to invest in operational technologies, such as quantum computing, AI and machine learning, because it is seeing real benefits in that. He said its Centre of Quantum Technology is able to bring new levels of processing power, potentially crunching topological datasets in a minute rather than a year.

Other topics covered included the integration of e-mobility, decarbonising freight and the emerging role of advanced robotics and connected autonomous vehicles.

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