The University of Hong Kong (HKU) and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Authority signed a strategic collaboration agreement and jointly established the Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Greater Bay Area Transport Construction and Intelligent Maintenance and Safety Operation Engineering Technology Research Centre (Engineering Technology Research Centre).
Along with universities, research institutes and enterprises in the Greater Bay Area, the aim is to deepen collaboration on the operation and maintenance of large-scale transport infrastructure in order to promote technological advances in transport infrastructure.
Transportation is a major catalyst for urban and regional development. Innovative transportation technology will make the operation and maintenance of the Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau Greater Bay Area more efficient and convenient for people and freight transport, facilitating the development of the Greater Bay Area.
The opening ceremony of the Engineering Technology Research Centre was held on 16 November 2019 in Zhuhai.
HKU Associate Vice-President Research) Mai Har Sham attended the ceremony together with the interdisciplinary team including a professor from the Department of Urban Planning and Design, a professor from the Department of Civil Engineering and a professor from the Department of Real Estate and Construction.
The establishment of the Engineering Technology Research Centre will provide a strong boost to the development of the Greater Bay Area (GBA).
The Centre comprises universities, research institutions and industries within and beyond the GBA, indicating a strong base for diversified cooperation which will bring about profound outcomes under this new initiative.
HKU’s interdisciplinary team at present is mainly involved in the study of space-time characteristics of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge’s cross-border travel and the development of intelligent transport planning system.
It is also participating in the study of intelligent virtual reality, real-time monitoring, prediction and early warning of the structural breakdown of the bridge.
Both HKU and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Authority will jointly bid for research funding and promote technology transfer for related research results.
Smart Transport in Hong Kong
For Hong Kong, under its Smart City Blueprint, the HKSAR government is working to install “in-vehicle units” (IVUs) to allow motorists to receive real-time traffic information.
In addition, the government plans to introduce pilot intelligent traffic signal systems with sensors for pedestrians and vehicles at road junctions starting from 2021 as well as facilitate trials of autonomous vehicles in West Kowloon Cultural District and other areas as appropriate.
The government will also facilitate public transport operators’ plans in introducing new electronic payment systems for public transport fare collection, having regard to the systems’ reliability, user-friendliness and efficiency. Encourage public transport operators to open up their data.
Upon implementation of the above, people will be able to enjoy more environmentally-friendly transport modes, including use of cleaner fuel in vessels to improve air quality and address other environmental concerns; plan their journeys more efficiently with real-time traffic information, and enjoy better traffic planning and management through enhanced use of data analytics.
They will also be able to enjoy easy and efficient travel with the smart airport and enjoy a pedestrian-friendly environment.
The HKSAR government will continue to explore and formulate initiatives to alleviate traffic congestion and tackle other traffic management and enforcement issues through wider use of technology; facilitate the achievement of technology advancement and industry development in vehicle-to-everything (V2X) and autonomous vehicles (AV) and ultimately introduction of AV with integrated Internet access, and enhance walkability and pedestrian wayfinding system.