Credit: BusinessNZ

Credit: BusinessNZ

New Zealand forms Future Technology Leadership Group to harness N$1.5-billion transport tech sector

On Mar 19, Minister of Transport Phil Twyford announced that a new Future Technology Leadership Group is formed, with the objectives of helping New Zealand harness the N$1.5 billion a year estimated value to the economy from Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) as well as the social benefits they create.

At the T-Tech Conference in Auckland, hosted by ITS New Zealand, Minister Twyford announced the leadership group will develop the 10-year Land Transport Technology Roadmap.

Intelligent transport systems have the potential to significantly improve traffic flows, reduce road congestion, increase logistics productivity, lower transport emissions and improve the safety and efficiency of personal travel.

 “This is an exciting time for transport and technology. Intelligent Transport Systems have the potential to not only make transport more efficient, better for the environment and safer, we now know they can make a valuable contribution to New Zealand’s economy,” said Minister Twyford.

At the same time, Business NZ released a report called Unlocking Commercial Opportunities of Intelligent Transport Systems.

The industry report focuses on 3 areas: (1) drones, (2) smart logistics and (3) autonomous self-driving vehicles.

The report highlights the value of the transport technology (“T-Tech”) industry. It found that New Zealand has a good regulatory and business environment to benefit from ITS – the sunrise tech industry that could earn up to N$1.5 billion a year.

According to the press release by BusinessNZ, unlocking commercial opportunities from ITS is a call to action for both business and the Government, recognising the enormous potential for developing and manufacturing ITS such as self-driving cars and drones in New Zealand.

Currently, ITS products are already produced in New Zealand, including GPS systems, drones, robotic port cranes, airport baggage handling systems and wireless charging technology.

The report calls for greater collaboration between the Government and business to unlock innovation and export growth around ITS technology and services. Data sharing greater R&D, the upskilling of regulators, and aligning education and skills training with future needs are also recommended.

Chair of the Intelligent Transport Systems Advisory Group David Prentice says New Zealand is a good location for the new industry because of its growing high-tech manufacturing sector, experience in manufacturing niche component parts, and reputation as a test bed for new technologies and world class connectivity.

The report also highlights the potential for New Zealand to respond to global demand and become a first mover in an innovative, high-growth industry that is set to transform transport throughout the world.

According to Mr Prentice, businesses are already operating in the tech sector and new businesses looking for growth opportunities should consider the economic and social benefits to be gained from moving into this new area.

“The business community wants to continue working with Government to develop policies that will allow an ITS ecosystem to flourish and help business and transport system users address our local transport challenges and compete on the world stage,” he added.

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