Intelligent transport: More talk, no action?

Transport Minister Simon Bridges has announced plans for a study into how New Zealand’s economy can benefit from intelligent transport systems

Transport Minister Simon Bridges has announced plans for a study into how New Zealand’s economy can benefit from intelligent transport systems, without making any mention of the Government’s existing intelligent transport plan.

On 18 June 2014 the Ministry of Transport released its Intelligent Transport Systems Technology Action Plan 2014-2018. It listed close to 50 specific actions that the Government was supposed to have undertaken by the end of 2015.

The plan’s web page says: “There are a number of key areas where the Government has an essential role to play in advancing the adoption of ITS technologies. These include: strategic leadership, direction setting and collaboration; providing a supportive regulatory environment; funding and procuring infrastructure or services; using the information and opportunities provided by ITS.”

It gives no indication of what the government has done to fulfil this “essential role”.

The Ministry of Transport has partnered with BusinessNZ to commission the new study. It will be overseen by an advisory group chaired by Dr David Prentice, chief executive of the New Zealand arm of Opus, a NZX-listed global infrastructure development and management consultancy headquartered in New Zealand. He is also chairman of the New Zealand Business Infrastructure Committee.  

The group also includes the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and a range of other players from the public and private sectors.

Bridges said it was critical that the Government engaged with the private sector, which is developing much of the technology.

“The study is expected to be completed by the end of 2017, and will make recommendations for how we can develop and grow ITS market opportunities where we have a competitive advantage, and identify areas to be strengthened,” Bridges said.

“There are companies in New Zealand already working in the growing ITS market, as well as companies who could do so. A number of international companies have also expressed interest in developing their ITS technologies in New Zealand.

“Leveraging off these advantages to support businesses, and attracting international companies to come and develop their technology here, will have significant benefits for transport in New Zealand, and the broader economy,” he said.

 

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