Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced formation of a Future Technology Leadership Group saying it will help New Zealand harness some of the $1.5 billion a year estimated value to the economy from Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) as well as the social benefits they create.
The move follows release by Business NZ of a report commissioned from Deloitte Access Economics, Unlocking commercial opportunities from intelligent transport systems. The report said intelligent transport systems could be a sunrise tech industry for New Zealand, earning up to $1.5 billion a year.
Twyford announced formation of the group at the T-Tech Conference in Auckland on 19 March saying it would develop a 10-year Land Transport Technology Roadmap. He said New Zealand was seen as a world leader in ITS, and the group would bring together the best domestic knowledge, as well as international expertise.
“The Business NZ report focused on three areas – drones, smart logistics and autonomous self-driving vehicles – and found New Zealand has a good regulatory and business environment to benefit from ITS,” he said.
“A good example of how technology can save lives was the NZTA ‘hackathon’ Save One More Life which last weekend saw 120 developers, and tech, engineering and transport experts spend 48 hours designing ways to make our roads safer. This resulted in a new app to improve driving by teenagers and those on restricted licenses, expected to save 55 young lives a year.”
Business NZ said its report was “a call to action for both business and the Government, recognising the enormous potential for developing and manufacturing intelligent transport systems such as self-driving cars and drones in New Zealand.”
The report calls for greater collaboration between the Government and business to unlock innovation and export growth around ITS technology and services, along with data sharing, greater R&D, the upskilling of regulators, and aligning education and skills training with New Zealand’s future needs.
The chair of Business NZ’s Intelligent Transport Systems Advisory Group, David Prentice, said New Zealand was a good location for the new industry because of its growing high tech manufacturing sector, experience in manufacturing niche component parts, and reputation as a test bed for new technologies and world-class connectivity.
ITS products already produced in New Zealand included GPS systems, drones, robotic port cranes, airport baggage handling systems and wireless charging technology, according to Prentice.
He said the report highlighted the potential for New Zealand to respond to global demand and become a first mover in an innovative, high-growth industry that is set to transform transport throughout the world.
"Intelligent transport systems have the potential to significantly improve traffic flows, reduce road congestion, increase logistics productivity, lower transport emissions and improve the safety and efficiency of personal travel.
"Businesses already operating in the tech sector and new businesses looking for growth opportunities should consider the economic and social benefits to be gained from moving into this new area.”
He added: "And the business community wants to continue working with Government to develop policies that will allow an ITS ecosystem to flourish and help business and transport system users address our local transport challenges and compete on the world stage."
Future Transport Group members
NZ Transport Agency, Ministry of Transport, Auckland Transport, Christchurch City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Google, Machine zone, ITS New Zealand, ITS Australia, Ministry of Education, Local Government NZ, Fulton Hogan, Transport Accident Investigation Commission, Australia New Zealand Driverless Vehicle Initiative (ADVI), Telecom Users Association, Vodafone, KiwiRail, Toyota NZ, HMI Technologies, BECA, UShare, Road Transport Forum, Automobile Association, Westpac, Gladeye, Foodstuffs, Bike Auckland, Chapman Tripp, Uber, GoBus, Datacom, Arup, CISCO, Synapsis, L.E.K. Consulting, Business NZ,.