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March 27, 2018

Intelligent transport systems for 2035

Future skill requirements for a high technology transport system.

What future skills will be required?

BERL collaborated with road land transport experts from the University of Auckland and Beca to assess the future skills required for road land transport in New Zealand in 2035.

The New Zealand Transport Agency funded a research project to answer the question: “What number and type of skilled people will be needed in the context of a high technology transport system, by 2035?” and “What kinds of training needs does this imply?”

What were the considerations?

The land transport industry is experiencing a rapid change in vehicle and infrastructure technology, in particular with the development and deployment of intelligent transport systems (ITS). ITS apply information, data processing, communication, and sensor technologies to vehicles (including cars, trucks, trains, aircraft and ships), transport infrastructure and transport users to increase the effectiveness, environmental performance, safety, resilience and efficiency of the transport system.

Furthermore, as we create “Smart Cities”, deploy “The Internet of Things” and take advantage of “Big Data”, the skill requirements for transport are likely to change.

This might include new and/or different skills to support the deployment, operation and maintenance of vehicles (for example, connected and automated) and infrastructure equipped with new technology (for example, traveller information and ticketing systems, sensor networks, and transport operations centres). Together with shortages of a pool of relevant skilled staff in New Zealand, there is also evidence of an ageing workforce.

The combination of these factors leads to the research question:

In the period to 2025 (and beyond) will there be a shortage of people with relevant skills that may delay the uptake, and therefore economic benefit, of ITS and, if so, what can be done to address this problem?

What did the research find?

In short: A deficit in supply of skilled workers to match new areas of demand associated with the implementation of ITS, is expected by 2035, assuming current trajectories of supply continue. To address this, the new environment of ITS technology calls on diverse leadership across the transport sector.

The full report with detailed findings can be read here