Announced earlier this year by the New South Wales Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance and Minister for Roads Duncan Gay, the Smart Innovation Centre is a new research and development hub for emerging transport and road technology, which will be located in Western Sydney.
A new hub for transport technology
The new centre which will be operational by mid- 2017, aims to be a world-class innovation incubator which brings together industry, investors, researchers, government agencies, vehicle manufacturers, technology providers and data analysts to make sure Transport for NSW is involved in new transport technologies right from the start.
Transport for NSW invited expressions of interest from across the transport industry, with a particular emphasis on organisations involved in the development of driverless vehicles and intelligent transport systems.
A key purpose of the Smart Innovation Centre will be around the type of infrastructure that the government will need to invest in to meet the transport technology needs of the future.
Hi-tech cars need hi-spec infrastructure
Transport technology is not limited to innovation in car and vehicle design. The cars and trucks of the future are going to need roads and other transport infrastructure that meets their needs. Work is already well underway in Europe and the USA on innovations such as:
- The smart highway that features ‘glow-in-the-dark’ highway markings that improve road safety and save energy.
- Roads that include embedded induction coils that can charge electric cars as they drive across them
- Solar roads, consisting of solar panels tough enough to drive on.