December 2018

The MTAiQ team have had an extremely busy few weeks as 2018 draws to a close.

At the beginning of November, the team attended the Something Digital event in Brisbane that showcased the innovative businesses and initiatives based in Queensland, and which featured workshops and sessions on subjects including Blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, robotics, and harnessing 5G communication.

We also attended the AI (Artificial Intelligence) summit in Brisbane – an event at which MTA Institute Board member and QUT Robotics Professor Michael Milford gave a presentation.

The Urban Motion conference during November saw the team – led by Chief Technology Innovation Office James Orr, and MTAiQ Community Manager Nathan Luu – represent the Association at an event that focused on Mobility and Smart cities.

James took part in a couple of engaging discussions on the event’s agenda – ‘Engineering Mobility in and Between Smart Cities’ and ‘Australia China collaboration in Smart Cities’.

These discussions focused on topics such as the future of transport systems and the part to be played in that future by autonomous electric cars, flying cars, the hyperloop and even scramjet commercial aircraft, as well as the opportunities for collaboration between China and Australia to build upon the expertise, technologies and business models being developed in each nation.

At the end of the month, Nathan travelled to Townsville to take part in the Advance Regional Innovation Program (ARIP) conference, focusing on the collaborative efforts with other ARIP partner organisations.

The ARIP program aims to turn Queensland regions into hubs for innovation and enterprise and enable local entrepreneurs, business leaders and key industries to collaborate closely and with government to ‘harness innovation and unlock business potential, strengthen existing industries and prepare regional Queenslanders for jobs of the future’.

As well as these events attended by the MTAiQ team, MTA Queensland’s CEO, Dr Brett Dale, represented the Association at a number of innovation and technology-based forums. It would take too long to mention them all, but among them were meetings with the Department of Transport and Main Roads on Mobility as a Service (MaaS); a state government forum on future work skills and how to train the workforce to be ready for the new technologies being developed; and a global summit at which Dr Dale was on a speakers’ panel whose focus was ‘Applying AI and Deep Learning for Enterprises and Institutions – The Next Chapter’.

You may have noticed that some of these events focus not on the technology itself, but on how that new technology will be utilised to shape the mobility solutions of the future. And that is a truly important discussion. While electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, even flying vehicles, tend to grab the headlines – who isn’t intrigued by the thought of have a quick nap on the way to work while the car negotiates the traffic on your behalf – how our infrastructure, our cities and towns, are shaped to best use these technologies is at least as important.

What form that infrastructure takes will have long-lasting ramifications for both our society and, of course, the automotive industry. It is why MTAiQ and MTA Queensland are so invested in being involved and proactive in those discussions.

And it is also why we will be hosting the third Carmageddon conference in March next year, here at MTAiQ.

On the agenda for discussion will be smart cities and the future of mobility, rewnewable fuels, and digital technologies such as blockchain, and much more.

A list of influential guest speakers will be presenting on these topics and if you want to know the direction that the automotive industry will be heading, and learn about the technologies behind that move, I strongly urge that you attend. The pace of change will not be slowing down and keeping abreast of the developments that will impact us all has never been more important.

The MTAiQ Innovation Hub is tasked not only with with assisting existing auto businesses to capitalise on opportunities that continue to arise as the industry evolves, but also to bring together entrepreneurs, start-up businesses, mentors, investors, commercial partners and industry experts to collaborate on digital disruption and emerging tech.

We are ready and willing to help anyone with a cracking idea that could make a difference in the automotive industry.

So, if you think you have just such an idea, then get in contact with us – we have the resources to help make you idea a reality. As philosopher Alfred North Whitehead once said: “Ideas won’t keep. Something must be done about them.”

We look forward to hearing from you.

I hope you have a tremendous time over the next few weeks celebrating Christmas and the New Year, and I’ll see you in February when Motor Trader returns.

Until then.

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MTAiQ acknowledges the traditional owners of the land on which we live and work - the Yugambeh and Yuggera people. We pay our respects to elders past, present and emerging. In the spirit of reconciliation, we will continue to work with traditional custodians to support the health and wellbeing of community.