Infrastructure Victoria’s Chief Executive Officer, Michel Masson, spoke from the heart when he exclaimed “To say that we dreamed of this moment is an understatement!” as he accepted the Evidence-Based Policy Award for his organisation’s Automated and Zero Emissions Vehicle Advice at the IPAA Victoria Leadership in the Public Sector Awards 2019.
He went on to remind the audience that “nothing great in life is done without passion – and there’s been a lot of passion to deliver this world-first advice.” This advice took the form of comprehensive evidence and analysis to the Victorian Government on the infrastructure requirements for highly automated and zero emissions vehicles. In the process, Infrastructure Victoria’s team undertook research and analysis across a broad range of topics – including transport and energy network modelling, environmental and human health impacts, ICT infrastructure requirements, socioeconomic impacts, and land use; all in critical preparation for “these emerging technologies [which] have the potential to radically change how the state’s transport system operates,” and which “could be the biggest thing to happen to transport since the car itself.”In developing this advice for the state government, Infrastructure Victoria envisaged many potential futures, an acknowledgement of the uncertainty inherent in such a task. The team developed seven scenarios, each one representing “different technologies, market models, and timelines for technology uptake.”Infrastructure Victoria’s innovative approach, as exemplified by this project, is at the forefront of public policy thinking. It’s a national and international first that places Victoria in the best possible position, to – as Michael Masson so enthusiastically put it back in February – “to attract international interest when the time will be right to deploy, at scale, driverless technology.” It’s this kind of exciting, pioneering thinking that IPAA Victoria is proud to support and recognise.