Green light for transport R&D

Research into intelligent transport systems and infrastructure will expand at Flinders University after the Federal Government announced funding of $55 million over 10 years to explore digital and evolving vehicle technologies around Australia.

Senator Arthur Sinodinos, the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, announced the new iMOVE Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) as part of the Federal Government’s latest round of CRC funding this week.

“Research partners in the iMOVE CRC will receive $55 million over 10 years to explore digital and evolving vehicle technologies to help traffic to flow more smoothly,” Senator Sinodinos said.

“This will result in reduced congestion, fuel use and emissions and improved national productivity and competitiveness.

“The new CRC will involve interdisciplinary researchers working with industry to explore new processes, including digital technologies, to deliver improvements in strategic industry sectors,” he said.

Up to 50 different industry, government and research partners are expected to be involved in the national initiative.

Australia’s transport system comes with significant economic, social and environmental costs, with vehicle crashes causing about 1,300 deaths and 32,500 hospitalisation injuries every year, costing $27 billion annually, and avoidable congestion in Australia costing $10 billion a year and expected to rise to $20.4 billion by 2020.

With rigid and articulated trucks using more than 6,909 million litres of fuel a year in Australia, route optimisation infrastructure timing and response to incidents will provide large savings to fleet owners and the economy through the reduction in congestion and engine running times.

The iMOVE CRC, involving multiple university, government and industry partners around Australia, will look at technologies to reduce road congestion, fuel use and emissions with the view to improve national productivity and competitiveness.

The CRC will investigate three research areas:

  • Intelligent transport systems and infrastructure
  • Creating new end-to-end freight solutions, and
  • Enhanced personal mobility.

Working in all three research areas, Flinders University’s involvement in the iMOVE CRC bid is concentrated within the School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics and includes the support of industry partners, the SA Government Department for Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) and the Royal Automobile Association of SA (RAA). Other research will be done at the University of South Australia and interstate universities and research organisations.

Head of Civil Engineering, Professor Rocco Zito, says the CRC funding is an exciting move forward for transportation-related R&D at Flinders at Tonsley and Bedford Park.

“It reinforces Flinders University’s leadership and strengths in Transport Systems research and development,” says Professor Zito.

“This includes research into connected and autonomous vehicles, the Australian Driverless Vehicle program, transport and accessibility in remote locations, and other projects.”

The evaluation of environmental impacts of transportation and Global Positioning System applications are also research focus areas. Professor Zito is a member of the Australian Driverless Vehicle Initiative Scientific Research Group and member of the Transport Australia Society of SA.


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