Australia must develop cooperative intelligent transport systems policies in step with those elsewhere in the world or risk missing the everyday benefits of connected and automated driving, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries says.

Dave Buttner, the FCAI president and Toyota Australia president, tells the ITS World Congress in Melbourne a fully integrated transport network would have great value for Australian commuters.

“C-ITS technology will both lower the costs of running your vehicle and reduce its emissions,” Buttner tells the congress. “A fully managed and integrated road and vehicle network will reduce congestion and get us to our destinations faster, reduce risks, drop our stress levels and increase our productivity.

“The brave new world of efficient transportation beckons.”

Buttner strongly advocates a collaborative approach between federal, state and territorial governments on policy.

“Since it impacts on so many areas where standards apply – vehicles, their operation and the environment – the federal government and all states and territories must agree on a common framework,” he says.

Buttner says automakers have made great progress with automated technology, with active-safety-intervention now “almost commonplace” and, given the global automotive industry’s fiercely competitive nature, those who invest in R&D and who form the most productive alliances will be at the forefront.

“No one wants to be left behind in this technology race,” he says.

Buttner says confirmation of the 5.9 Gigahertz spectrum being adopted across Australia as the common digital language of C-ITS is a major step forward.

But he seeks government support for coordinated technical field trials involving multiple brands and teams working with road, transport and infrastructure engineers to help confront unique challenges posed by Australian roads, physical conditions and geography.