Infrastructure to support future land transport technologies

The Office of Future Transport Technology works across the Department and with other Commonwealth agencies and State and Territory governments to prepare Australia’s physical and digital infrastructure for the deployment of connected and automated vehicles.

Physical infrastructure

The Office of Future Transport Technology works with Austroads to develop guidance on preparing infrastructure for future land transport technologies within an integrated transport and land use planning framework. Projects include:

  • Understanding the benefits and costs of providing a minimum physical infrastructure standard for the operation of automated driving (current project FP16258)
  • Implications of pavement marking for machine vision (AP-R633-20)
  • Guidance and readability criteria for traffic sign recognition systems reading electronic signs (AP-R627-20)
  • Infrastructure changes to support automated vehicles on rural and metropolitan highways and freeways (AP-T347-19)

Digital infrastructure

Future land transport technologies are still maturing and continuing to evolve, even as they come to market.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority, which manages the spectrum allocation and licensing for radiofrequency transmitters/receivers, has made available spectrum in the 5.9GHz band for use by intelligent transport systems (ITS) in Australia. The Office of Future Transport Technology is working on securing these communication channels, through our work on cyber and data security.

Over 99% of Australians have access to mobile coverage, which is an enabling component of future land transport technologies. The Department is currently further improving mobile connectivity through the Regional Connectivity Program and Mobile Black Spot Program.

The Department is also trialling innovative applications of 5G technology, including in the transport context, through the Australian 5G Innovation Initiative, an open, competitive grants program to help small to large businesses in Australia test and develop 5G uses, applications, services and products.

The Office of Future Transport Technology is working with the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, Transport for NSW and Austroads on a project examining the costs and benefits of deployment models for Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) and their current and future capability to deliver beneficial outcomes for Australians (including safety, productivity and mobility). Project outcomes will include findings for consideration by Australian governments on key actions, strategies and policies to facilitate the deployment of C-ITS. Findings from the project, due early 2022, will help to inform future government policy and investment pathways.