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Transport technology (both internationally and in Australia) is changing rapidly, bringing with it many potential benefits for our transport networks. These benefits include improved transport productivity, more efficient use of existing infrastructure, reduced congestion and avoided deaths and injuries.

Governments, industry and research institutions are actively exploring the best ways to develop and deploy new transport technologies. For example, Australian governments are already preparing for connected vehicles, which can communicate with other vehicles, road-side infrastructure, and with other devices such as mobile phones. This will enable vehicle and transport systems to cooperatively work together to deliver optimised transport outcomes. Automated vehicles are another emerging technology with significant potential to improve the safety, efficiency and convenience of transport (especially for seniors and the disabled). These technologies are complementary to each other, and together could radically transform the ways that people travel and that our infrastructure and cities are constructed.

Transport infrastructure is also improving. Cost-effective sensors and improved communications technology are facilitating more efficient models of operating and maintaining roads and railways. Improved information flows, such as real-time public transport information, are increasingly providing travellers with access to more flexible, efficient and convenient transport services. Digital systems, including smart phones, are generating unprecedented amounts of data, which can be shared and analysed to improve infrastructure planning and operations.

Australian governments recognise that these on-going advances in transport technology have the potential to fundamentally improve the safety, efficiency, sustainability and accessibility of Australia’s transport systems. Australian governments are focused on implementing the right policy settings to support and take advantage of these opportunities.

On this basis, this policy framework outlines an agreed national approach to policy, regulatory and investment decision-making for technologies in the land transport sector. This framework will be underpinned by a three-year action plan, outlining governments’ short to medium term priorities.

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