A transporting showcase 8 Nov 2006
Ellie van Baaren
Anyone who has waited for a bus that never came or counted the minutes as the train refuses to move knows how important it is to be able to get around in the city. And the bigger the city, the more important that its transport systems are efficient, well-managed and user-friendly. New Zealand cities are not in the same league as London, Paris or New York, however Kiwi companies are leading the way in developing "intelligent transport systems".
This was illustrated at the ITS World Congress and exhibition which was held for the first time in the UK last month. Nine innovative New Zealand technology companies were showing their wares, all are world leaders in "intelligent transport systems" aimed at improving the layout of roads and traffic, enhancing safety and giving travellers sophisticated information about their journeys showcased their wares at the congress.
A stand supported by New Zealand trade and Enterprise (pictured right) had displays by Advancemobile, Connexionz, Fleetwise, ITS New Zealand, iVistra Technology and Vidimon. Soon after the congress finished, Christchurch-based Connexionz announced a joint venture with the UK’s Infocell Investments Ltd. Connexionz’ innovative BusFinder real time passenger information system is installed in Christchurch’s buses and has also been sold to bus system operators in New Zealand, Australia and the US.
The stand was co-ordinated by Kirsten Gosch, NZTE’s Business Development Manager for Europe who is based at its Hamburg office. "New Zealand has specific strangths in wireless, GIS and smart data handling," Gosch says. "This event gave us the chance to present to several thousand specialist buyers from around the world." The stand also had details of opportunities available for people looking to move to or return to New Zealand.
On a stand of its own, Tait Radio Communications showed off its innovative surveying application to optimise the performance and coverage of the London Bus radio network. During the Congress ITS New Zealand and ITS UK announced a Memorandum of Understanding to increase linkages between the two countries. Martin Leak of ITS NZ welcomed the agreement. "A number of New Zealand companies are already active in the UK ITS sector and we look forward to being able to work with more UK companies and organisations."
NZinspired magazine, November 2006
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