The NTC, a national independent commission that reports to federal and state ministers, has deployed performance based standards in an attempt to increase productivity in the transport sector.
Chief policy officer, Meena Naidu, said technology was vital to the organisations’ success.
“The underlying role of technology in the market needs to be utilised in order to achieve efficiency. The transport industry is required to take up technology and innovation,” Naidu said at the Australian Economic Forum in Sydney.
The NTC has used performance based standards to look at the condition of vehicles in the transport sector in a more effective way.
“Performance based standards allows productive technology. It changes the way we look at a vehicle. It’s a framework where we look at a vehicle against a number of standards on the road. Instead of looking at what it looks like, it’s based on its performance.”
Naidu said if the scheme works as planned, the NTC will stand to make a substantial profit.
“The performance based standards scheme is running a process trying to entrench a process and legislation. If we’re successful in doing so, the profit is over $3 billion.”
The NTC has already saved money on fuel thanks to the scheme, which monitors the speed of vehicles in order to make sure fuel optimisation is achieved.
“Industry has always embraced technology and operators have been getting increasingly sophisticated in terms of the technology they have embraced. It’s about getting vehicle efficiency and reducing the costs of that vehicle.”
“Fuel is one of the largest costs of the operator and those things are quite important. Technology enables a business to keep an eye on what speed the driver is going at. We’ve heard of situations where a truck driver has received a phone call asking why he is going at 100km/h. The speed efficiency is 90km/h and any travel over this speed is a waste of fuel for us,” Naidu said.
Naidu said technology moves organisations like the NTC into a government 2.0 setting and outlined how technology is playing an important role in the transport industry at large through electronic records.
“Technology is playing an important role by informing the industry of where they can get access as truck drivers. That mapping portal actually enabled businesses to look on the internet at where access should be obtained across the country. It’s easy to use and means you don’t have to sift through a number of websites.”
“Electronic work diaries are a more effective way of capturing the number of hours a truck driver works and is more effective than a traditional log book,” she said.
Telematics is another area Naidu spoke about, with the use of integrated telecommunication devices, GPS’ and other technologies improving a number of areas in the transport sector.
“Telematics can improve access, environmental impact and accidents. It’s highly beneficial and can drive huge gains in the transport sector but there are challenges. The social benefit and the private benefit sometimes don’t meet. A lot of that is driven by uncertainty about what the regulatory requirements are going to be in the future.”
“The key to enabling telematics is to deliver those benefits to all. We can do that through co-operation, integration and market uptake. Part of it is removing barriers to the uptake of telematics. Through co-operation, we believe the benefits can be achieved,” she said.