Local and International technology and transport firms are vying to become part of what’s believed to be a world first, following a thinktank of more than 40 transport and infrastructure experts hosted recently by UTS and developer Celestino in Sydney with support from Transport for NSW’s Smart Innovation Centre.
Local and International firms eye opportunity to be part of Sydney Science Park
Sydney, Australia: Local and International technology and transport firms are vying to become part of what’s believed to be a world first, following a thinktank of more than 40 transport and infrastructure experts hosted recently by UTS and developer Celestino in Sydney with support from Transport for NSW’s Smart Innovation Centre.
The thinktank was part of an EOI process to attract partners to Celestino’s Sydney Science Park (SSP) to support the delivery of an integrated Autonomous Vehicle future including the infrastructure and services to be provided at the 280-hectare, $5 billion greenfield mixed-use development in the heart of Western Sydney.
Duncan Challen, General Manager, Business Development, Sydney Science Park described the workshop as the first step in the creation of a “consortium of experts” across government, industry and the private sector to guide a design and development framework.
“It’s the first time we’ve been able to join all the dots between property, transport, industry, technology, science and the community to truly consider the autonomous mobility roadmap for Sydney Science Park, and more broadly for other projects.
One key output from the thinktank was to focus efforts in creating an internationally recognised autonomous vehicle hub at Sydney Science Park.
The hub, considered to be a central part to the development of the future of the 280-hectare SSP, would provide autonomous vehicle maintenance, cleaning, battery replacement, restocking and last mile services platforms (people, freight and deliveries).
“We had a number of participants – many of them who would be competitors – talking enthusiastically about the chance to collaborate. They understand that to take this into the every day, and create the systems and infrastructure required there has to be a high degree of cooperation. In fact, no single organisation could achieve what we hope to accomplish here,” he said.
Mr Challen said one of the concepts discussed was an Autonomous Vehicle Hub to provide maintenance, cleaning, battery replacement, restocking and last mile services platforms (people, freight and deliveries).
It could also be the centre for next generation autonomous technology research, development, testing and commercialisation.
Mr Challen said delivering an autonomous vehicle solution at SSP would further support the creation of 17,000 jobs in the initial phases, rising to more than 50,000 as the SSP community matured.
Workshop participants included representatives from Navya, YDRIVE, Sage Automation, Bosch, Hyundai, Keolis Downer, CSIRO Data61 and Local Motors, had the opportunity to pitch topics to set the day’s agenda and were asked to identify and nominate possible collaborations.
Believed to be the first time a multidisciplinary group of its kind has come together in Australia to design the future of autonomous transport in a greenfield development, the workshop has already sparked interest from leading multinationals who weren’t in the room but are eager to be involved.
“The response has been extraordinary – even beyond the group in the room. There’s a real excitement about making SSP a world leader in this field,” said Mr Challen.
Participants discussed topics including communications, connectivity, mixed-use autonomous vehicles (any vehicle that could be used for multiple purposes – i.e. transporting people and/or freight), navigation, planning, design and infrastructure, vehicle platforms, remote operations, shared mobility (shared travel like the Uber concept) and a test track laboratory.
The group also discussed innovative ways to integrate old and new technology and the potential ‘generational change’ required to transition the public mindset towards an autonomous vehicle future
Don Bone, Industry Associate Professor, UTS said the university was committed to the SSP.
He said not only did the university have the expertise in software engineering, artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and autonomous systems, but as a major technology-focused university, it will also be integral to training the people required to make the project a reality.
The EOI process is due to close on 21 April.
About Sydney Science Park
Sydney Science Park (SSP) is a billion-dollar greenfield development project located three kilometres north of the planned Western Sydney Airport. SSP aspires to be a world-class facility clustering together leading innovators in industry, education and business. Set over 280 hectares, the vision for SSP is to be a fully integrated, innovation-based community that will include high quality lifestyle opportunities. One of the guiding ambitions for SSP is to foster a culture of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship that will benefit the whole region, and in particular Western Sydney.
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