This response builds on NICTA‘s earlier input to the NSW Draft Long Term Transport Master Plan, and strengthens ongoing relationships with the NSW Government, Roads and Maritime Services, Transport Management Centre and many related agencies.
The Draft Strategy provides a clear and structured response to freight challenges facing NSW during the next 20 years. ICT is fundamental and pervasive in enabling NSW to identify, quantify, analyse and optimise outcomes for these challenges; NICTA's expertise should be leveraged to help NSW create a freight future that makes more productive use of existing infrastructure and enables increasingly efficient planning to accommodate forecast growth in demand.
ICT has a foundational role to play in the three Strategic action areas identified in the Draft Strategy:
- Network efficiency – through the use of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) technologies to manage congestion and to enable trade-offs between passenger and freight networks; advanced optimisation applied to fleet logistics; real time traffic information conveyed to all road users and intelligent pricing strategies to reduce peak demand; and system wide optimisation applied to the port-rail-road system. ITS can also be used to improve motorway performance through intelligent ramp metering technology, as well as ensure freight vehicles keep to designated routes on public roads.
- Network capacity – through using planning tools based on data driven models of the total transport system to predict demand and guide capacity upgrade priorities; fusion of data from different sources to build a clearer view of network performance; both local and system wide optimisations to unlock latent capacity (especially at inter-model intermodal interfaces) and automation and safety technology which will ultimately allow much safer use of High Productivity Vehicles (HPVs).
- Network sustainability – through the use of new technology such as Cooperative ITS (C-ITS) and collision avoidance technologies, culminating in autonomous freight vehicles as envisaged in overseas jurisdictions such as California and Florida, and locally in Victoria. Environmental, noise and congestion management dividends will flow from ITS applied to improve overall network efficiency.