Science and Technology

Digitisation in transport and freight: Lessons for Australia

Digitisation in transport

This research aims to undertake a comprehensive systematic literature review of international best practice in digitisation in the transport and freight sectors. Key case studies demonstrating the benefits and impacts in terms of enhancing network performance, efficiency and productivity will be identified and analysed.

It will also use a framework to document how increased digitisation of the transport and freight sectors has the potential to also improve system resilience and produce economic productivity gains.

The learnings that will be identified from successful experiences in countries with higher levels of transport digitisation will help Australian decision makers shape the policies and regulations that are required to drive the use of digitisation in Australia’s transport and freight sectors.

The research will also include key stakeholder consultations to ensure that the findings reflect industry and government experiences of the barriers, opportunities and benefits of digitisation across all users and transport modes, including road, rail, maritime, and aviation, that are part of the transport and freight sectors.

Participants

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Project background

A number of measures available in the literature indicate that Australia’s transport sector falls behind on digitisation trends compared to many other OECD countries, particularly in terms of the role of information and communications technologies (ICT) in enhancing the performance and efficiency of the transport and freight sectors. Some domestic indicators also show the transport sector has experienced slower rates of digital activity and innovation compared to many other sectors in Australia.

This project aims to undertake a comprehensive review of international best practice in the area of digitisation, with a view to understanding how it might enhance transport and freight efficiency and productivity. The research will also identify the learnings from the experience of countries with higher levels of transport and freight digitisation and how these could be adapted to help Australian decision makers shape the policies and regulations required to drive the use of digitisation in Australia’s transport and freight sectors.

Policy and regulatory opportunities will be considered comprehensively, with openness towards considering well-established and long-term approaches, as well as innovative and short-term approaches.

Project objectives

Successful completion of this research will help DITRDC in developing a deeper understanding of the current state of developments, emerging trends and future directions where governments may have a role in improving the use of digitisation in transport and freight across different modes and uses in Australia in the short, medium and long-term horizons.

Specifically, the research will analyse and discuss the role of these technologies and digital solutions in improving the safety, efficiency, productivity, accessibility and resilience of transport and freight systems across all modes, and the required market adoption rates and levels of digitisation required to have a lasting and meaningful impact on performance. The study will also investigate how disruptive mobility solutions are likely to impact the transport industry with new business models and opportunities that may be introduced on digital platforms.

Importantly, the study will also identify policies and regulatory and legal enablers expected to increase the effective use of digitisation in a rapidly evolving and continuously changing field. This study will aim to identify policy levers that could maximise the social and economic benefits that digitisation will enable, while minimising any potential adverse effects or disadvantages.

The research will be informed by international case studies and lessons learnt from a number of jurisdictions overseas (including Japan, Singapore and South Korea, amongst other nations) who are recognised as key leaders in this space and have already introduced legislation and facilitated regulatory environments and investment opportunities for largescale adoption.

Finally, the research will identify how DITRDC and key stakeholders can continue to monitor and be kept abreast of developments. It will also identify potential partnering opportunities with other organisations to conduct future research in relevant key areas.

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