UNSW Sydney and Cisco announced a new position: a Research Chair in Digital Transport. The role is designed to accelerate innovation within the transport sector. That innovation is being driven by the demands of a growing population, changing travel patterns, and increasing urbanisation.

The parties say the initiative extends the existing relationship and builds on UNSW’s strengths in data science and transport systems engineering and Cisco’s global technology leadership in the digitisation of transport.  They say it will include collaboration in areas such as mobile networks, behaviour analysis, multi-vehicle planning, resource allocation, transport modelling and more.

The Research Chair will help create opportunities to develop the technology agenda and support the acceleration of digitisation and data-driven decision making in Australia’s transport sector, according to a statement. “This is especially important in our rapidly changing world, where the need for an integrated, dynamic, elastic, and safe transport system for goods and people has never been more critical.”

The future transport system could reduce delays due to vehicle breakdowns, or detect potholes, bumps, and potential hazards on the road, making travel easier and safer for everyone, according to the statement.

President and Vice-Chancellor of UNSW, Ian Jacobs, said “As our world faces challenges of urbanisation and new technologies it is more important than ever that universities and businesses come together to help society to address these issues. Building on UNSW’s existing relationship with Cisco, the introduction of a new Research Chair will further focus our work to make our transportation networks more efficient and sustainable for our future.”

Cisco Australia & New Zealand VP, Ken Boal, said “It is clear that our transport systems play a critical role in building resilient businesses and communities. A digital transport system, that is connected and enabled by technology can provide insights and new capability to safely move people and goods, within cities and regionally.”

He said the collaboration between Cisco, UNSW and Transport for NSW will accelerate that process, helping to enhance the future of mobility, making it safer, more efficient and sustainable.

Addressing real-world challenges in transport

One of the goals of the Research Chair is to address real-world challenges that impact the transport sector and citizens. Transport for NSW will also be participating to further strengthen the collaboration around applied research, to support practical joint innovation projects, and accelerate the delivery of benefits to the broader commuting community.

Transport for NSW’s Deputy Secretary —Customer Strategy and Technology, Joost De Kock, shared the impact of industry collaboration.

“Building collaborative partnerships such as this one helps us support applied research into innovative transport solutions. This will fast-track our ability to deliver world-class digital transport solutions for the benefit of our customers and communities in NSW.”

UNSW and Cisco have a long-standing alliance, which includes Innovation Central Sydney, a research centre focused on developing new uses for Internet-of-Things technologies. UNSW engineering students also benefit from education, technical training and career mentorship at the Cisco Networking Academy.

Cisco says its ongoing commitment to innovation and research in Australia is part of Cisco’s three-year Country Digital Acceleration Program to invest and advance digital capability.

The role will sit within the schools of Computer Science and Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering at UNSW.

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