Mobility, our interconnected world and intelligent transport systems

Our interconnectedness is clearly visible when we look around us, from the energy we consume, to the communication paths we utilise, right through to the roads we take. We have created a remarkable, complex and highly interdependent world, where we are more reliant on each other, globally, than at any other time in the history of mankind.

Zoltan Maklary Principal

by Zoltan Maklary

Principal, Melbourne

31 July 2017
City at night

Our interconnectedness is clearly visible when we look around us, from the energy we consume, to the communication paths we utilise, right through to the roads we take. We have created a remarkable, complex and highly interdependent world, where we are more reliant on each other, globally, than at any other time in the history of mankind. We are able to travel to 95% of the globe in around 24 hours or less, demonstrating that mobility is at the heart of our lives and economies, and it is changing with technology.

The evolution of mobility, which started during the industrial revolution, has evolved into a transport hierarchy comprising cars, rail and buses/light rail - each with their own role in the journey. This evolution has led the way we traditionally think about transport, that is, in terms of modes (e.g. light rail, bus rapid transit). As we look to the future however, we will need to shift our thinking from modes to end-to-end journeys for people and business, looking at the variety of options as to how to get from A-to-B.

This mobility challenge is big, considering that when we look ahead to 2050 we will have twice as many cars on the road as today, with approximately 7 billon people living in cities, compared to the 3.5 billon now.

The challenges can only be overcome through transport innovation which will be driven by data, communication and a deeper understanding of the needs of people travelling. This is where Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) can help.

ITS is mode agnostic, and is focused on moving people and goods in the most efficient manner possible. However, we frequently hear about individual elements of ITS rather than what it means for the network as a whole. ITS plays a role across the network in terms of improving network planning, performance and experience, and ranges across a wide spectrum, from traffic lights and smart motorways to cooperative ITS, autonomous vehicles and the Internet of Things. We must consider how all of these elements will play together.

There are clear roles for the private sector and government, and the lines are becoming increasingly blurred, however increased cooperation, particularly in the sharing of data, will be essential to achieving a collaborative approach to the future.

So whilst many questions still remain, and ultimately we cannot say what the future will look like, it is up to all of us to keep an open mind.

 

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Zoltan Maklary Principal

Zoltan Maklary

Principal

Zoltan is a successful business leader and program director with over 30 years’ experience in management, engineering, consulting and the development and delivery of major projects and complex technology. His experience covers Australia and overseas in a range of executive, major project, advisory and senior management roles in the transportation, infrastructure, aerospace and defence industries including Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects. He has held key roles including Program and Project Director, General Manager Projects and Engineering, and Head of Infrastructure (Operations and Maintenance) with roles in the public and private sectors in road infrastructure and aerospace.

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