The New South Wales (NSW) government will be tapping into the expertise of many technology leaders to improve the state’s transport system. Notable among them will be Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who will be in Sydney to open a mega transport summit being organised by the state government.
The April summit will have the presence of 150 tech leaders, transport experts and entrepreneurs. It will debate how technology can be used in moving around easier and faster.
“With the population set to jump by around two million people in the next 20 years, and technology moving faster than ever before, we’ve got to get ahead of the game,” Transport Minister Andrew Constance said to News Corp.
“We want the innovations, we want to hear from the global leaders when it comes to transport and technology and what better person to kick off the program than the co-founder of Apple,” Constance said.
The Transport Minister said the Future Transport summit will have the brightest minds in technology. It will have an an “Industry Ideas and Innovations Lab” where companies will be pitching products and ideas on how to improve transport and enhance the customer experience.
Analysts note that the summit is significant as it comes in the wake of State Government legalising Uber and is offering compensation to taxi drivers, reports The ABC. Constance said the NSW taxi industry itself is looking to deploy technology the way Uber and others have done. He said continued innovations in transport technologies could see the entry of more players into the transport system. It may be Lift, Sidecar or others who will come to Sydney and start moving around and provide an experience that Australia had never seen before.
“We’re seeing the advent of driverless trains, round the corner driverless cars, driverless buses, we’re seeing the use of smart card technology, smart phone technology and we want to ensure that NSW leads the world when it comes to technological advances when it comes to transport,” he said.
Meanwhile, the NSW government awarded a contract of $1.8 million to Melbourne-based Versent for building an online open data hub for the state’s transport department. Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the data hub would be a great platform for app developers to deliver new ideas to customers, reports Zd Net.