SPEAKING at the 26th World Roads Congress in Abu Dhabi, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack spoke of “unprecedented opportunities” to share Australian expertise, especially regarding data collection and investment in roads, while also learning from the world in addressing some of our own challenges.
“We are here with over 120 other nations to engage on how we best use our roads and to share, learn and listen to world leaders about new innovations in transport networks, emerging technologies and initiatives to drive down road trauma,” Mr McCormack said.
“The safety challenge is fundamental to our future transport network, particularly with the distances many people must drive in Australia, especially for those who live in regional, rural and remote areas.”
Mr McCormack said Australians were already seeing the benefits of safety-focused road upgrades with two of the biggest projects – The Pacific Highway in New South Wales and the Bruce Highway in Queensland – returning significant reductions in road fatalities along completed sections.
“Automated vehicles are potentially a game-changer in safety and also for those who have limited mobility or are unable to drive, something most of us take for granted,” Mr McCormack said.
“If successfully integrated with public transport, such vehicles could connect more people to jobs and services that are currently out of reach due to unreasonable commutes or lack of services,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to engaging with industry leaders in this space… to understand how technology and innovations can continue to build our national transport network and improve safety on our roads.”