Skip to main content

Customer Outcome 2: Embracing new technology

Greater Newcastle Future Transport Plan

Customer Outcome 2: Embracing new technology

Customer needs are met by a transport system that adapts to and embraces new technology

Technology has the real potential to change how people in Greater Newcastle travel. It is constantly evolving, presenting both opportunities and challenges in the way we plan and deliver passenger and freight transport services and infrastructure. We must take advantage of these opportunities to ensure the transport network provides the best level of service possible. The NSW Government is committed to adopting and applying new technology to transport needs in regional NSW.

We will work with relevant stakeholders to use the technology available now to achieve the following outcomes within Greater Newcastle:

  • Dynamic, personalised, customer-centric services, including flexible, on demand services and real time information
  • A seamless service offering – the customer interface will increasingly be the MaaS provider, not the operator. Transport services/options can be bundled and sold so that greater transport choice is provided
  • Smart motorways that make best use of the smart technologies being developed in vehicles, including improving productivity and safety through freight technology advances e.g. supply chain efficiencies of platooning, reducing human interaction
  • Personal mobility devices (e-bikes, segways, mobility scooters) enabling people to travel further than traditional active transport (walking, cycling)
  • Improved security systems to increase passenger safety during journeys and at interchanges.

Over the next 40 years, connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) will likely be the next major step change in transport. There is an opportunity to evaluate the role they will play in Greater Newcastle. They have the potential to reduce congestion, vehicle noise and carbon emissions and increase road safety. This has the potential to change the amenity and how places operate.

Smart Innovation Centre

In 2016, Transport for NSW created the Smart Innovation Centre to facilitate collaboration between government, industry and the research sector to develop innovative transport technology in NSW. The Centre is already working with industry partners, HMI Technologies, NRMA, Telstra, IAG and Sydney Olympic Park Authority, to conduct the state’s first trial of the highly automated passenger shuttle at Sydney Olympic Park. The two-year trial is providing important information not only about how the technology works in the Australian environment but also how passengers respond to this type of vehicle.

Lessons learnt will help us identify and implement new, creative and better ways to deliver transport to our customers. It will also help industry develop technology, products and services that can be deployed to deliver improved mobility for customers.

For more information see

Adoption of new transport technologies in Greater Newcastle will support progress towards the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan 2036 outcome to improve connections to jobs, services and recreation. Greater Newcastle is a suitable location to trial automated buses, shared, connected and automated vehicles, e-bikes and mobility-service platforms. Freight and logistics areas, including the trading hubs at Beresfield-Black Hill, Newcastle port and Newcastle Airport, are also suitable as early adopters of technology-enabled solutions for faster deliveries, improved safety and increased productivity.

Close collaboration with local government will ensure that trials and the introduction of CAVs and other new transport technologies ensure safety outcomes are improved for all road users. As CAVs and rideshare services have the potential to induce a greater number of trips and variable pick up and set down points, their introduction may require modifications to local road environments and centres. Their introduction should also be aligned with efforts to curb air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions so as not to detract from local amenity.

With the increasing availability of data, there is the potential for new data insights to support evidence-based planning. An open data policy by the NSW Government can support useful data sharing for planning purposes. Transport information that is already widely available includes access to real-time information on services, on demand services, infrastructure for personal mobility devices (e-bikes, mobility scooters), improved security systems for passenger safety and Smart motorway technology to improve safety and supply chain efficiency.


Smart Cities – Lake Macquarie and Newcastle

An early adopter of Smart City ideas, Lake Macquarie City Council laid the foundation for creating a more connected, innovative and resilient city, with the adoption of the Lake Mac Smart City, Smart Council Digital Economy Strategy in 2016. The strategy identifies 18 initiatives that will help boost the local economy, improve Council’s performance and ultimately enhance the lifestyle of residents.

Newcastle City Council adopted its first Smart City strategy in 2017. The Newcastle Smart City Strategy 2017 – 2021 is a collaborative strategic planning document that will guide Council and a wide range of stakeholders to develop a smarter and more innovative Newcastle and Hunter region and to maximise opportunities presented in sectors including technology, advanced manufacturing, the digital economy and the creative industries.

The Newcastle Smart City Strategy encompasses a range of initiatives such as the integration of technologies within residential and commercial developments that encourage take up of lower greenhouse gas emitting transport options and the regional provision of infrastructure for emerging technology, such as a regional electric vehicle charging network.

Six principles for Future Transport

The Future Transport 2056 Strategy is focused on six key principles for the future of mobility in the state, which together aim to positively impact the economy, communities and environment of NSW.

Read more