Automation of traffic:
are we closer than
we think with AI?

FEIT Transport (1).png

The technology deployed in vehicles available to the Australian market, and in Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), has been developing rapidly in recent decades, providing important advances in transport safety and traffic efficiency. However, not all elements of our mobility systems have advanced at the same rate. The deployment of advanced sensors and communications in road networks has lagged, as has the timely use of advanced technology in public service vehicles and in commercial vehicles.


Now, early applications of artificial intelligence (AI) to traffic data in Melbourne are showing that significant gains in understanding and operating traffic are possible. Most importantly, much of this can be achieved using existing data streams.

As parts of our transport system become highly connected and automated, safety is expected to improve exponentially. However, a dramatic improvement in traffic efficiency, and avoidance of congestion, will not occur without new operational intelligence offered by AI. Automated vehicular elements will require automated traffic operation so that we don’t experience retrograde traffic impacts.

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Meet the panelists

Dr Dale Andrea, Victorian Department of Transport

Dr Dale Andrea as the Chief Information Officer, Transport Services at DoT, helps create transport solutions with customers that deliver better journeys and productivity to the state. Dale is a Director on the Board of ITS Australia and the Australian Integrated Multimodal EcoSystem (AIMES), connecting with industry professionals across the globe on the technological disruption occurring in transport.

Dale’s job is to design and enhance customer facing and operational transport technologies; his passion is creating inclusive and inspirational workplaces that empower people and activate exceptional talent. Dale’s career has spanned academia, R&D, policy development, corporate strategy and international consulting. Dale uses these experiences and insights to guide around 200 ICT professionals deliver technology and digital services that move people.

Omid Ejtemai, PeakHour Urban Technologies

Omid has over 30 years of executive experience in US, Canada, Europe and Australia leading organisations in highly competitive markets and fast-paced environments. He has many years of hands-on leadership experience in building organisations and extensive knowledge in mobility from the perspective of research as well as the industry.

As a senior executive, Omid has served on the board of companies, institutions as well as advisory boards. He is a frequent guest and speaker at international conferences and panels on Smart Cities, Mobility and Real-time technologies. He is currently the Founding CEO of PeakHour Urban Technologies.

Professor Majid Sarvi, AIMES, The University of Melbournee

Majid Sarvi is Professor in Transport for Smart Cities at the University of Melbourne. He is the Director of AIMES, a world-first living laboratory based on the streets of Melbourne, established to test highly integrated transport technology. With over 50 partners from industry and government, AIMES’ goal is to deliver safer, cleaner and more sustainable urban transport outcomes. Majid has over 22 years of professional, academic and research experience in the areas of traffic and transport engineering. His fields of research include:

• Connected multimodal transport network modelling and analysis

• Crowd dynamic modelling and simulation

• Network vulnerability assessment and optimisation.

Craig Lawton, Amazon Web Services 

As a Solutions Architect specialising in public-sector IoT and Smart Cities initiatives across Australia and New Zealand, Craig Lawton is sought after by Governments at all levels to provide insights into the future of cities, transport and industry.

Craig has worked across many organizations in both the public and private sectors for over 20 years. He first realised how revolutionary cloud computing would be whilst writing a book on cloud adoption that ultimately transformed into the popular blog, The next big transformation will bring together big data, IoT and artificial intelligence in new and innovative ways. And it’s happening right now.

Professor Peter Sweatman (Chair), The University of Melbourne
Peter Sweatman is the Transport international enterprise professor at the University of Melbourne and a cofounding principal of CAVita. He has over 30 years of experience in transportation research and innovation, and the application of R&D. That experience encompasses vehicles, drivers, and infrastructure and impinges on technology, policy, and strategic planning. He is a trusted national voice on safety, ITS, transportation research and education, connected and automated vehicles, and freight technology and policy. His professional experience covers private industry, academia, and government. He has worked extensively in Europe and Asia-Pacific as well as the United States.

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