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Conceptual architecture for future transport and mobility environment

Photo by Michael on Unsplash

Transport and mobility management involves a combination of people, processes, systems and technology. With significant changes occurring in technology and mobility services, there is an opportunity and need to capture the current paradigm and plan for the emerging future transport and mobility environment.

This project seeks to create a common understanding of this environment through defining a conceptual and logical architecture for the future transport & mobility environment, showing the key components and the interacting elements, understanding where current state technology sits and drawing out the priority actions to enable the future vision.

The output of this project is to produce a conceptual architecture for a Future Transport and Mobility Environment and to propose a program to further work to address the gaps and development required to meet the needs for the future. This is a foundational piece of work to enable identification and development of future solutions or research in consultation and engagement with jurisdictions and industry.


  • Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads
  • ARRB

Project background

In 2015, Transport and Main Roads identified several technological and societal changes that motivates the change in transport management, including:

  • Transport authorities’ role has shifted to infrastructure operators
  • Change in customer expectations to include reliable journeys, and generally a more user-centric service
  • Improved and more varying data sources
  • Big data-related technology
  • Change in business models
  • Technology disruptions in transport

This project looks to explore and challenge our traditional approaches to transport operations and mobility. How do we move away from the way we do things today and think/act differently? The time horizon for the future transport and mobility environment envisaged is over the next 2-10 years.
In recent years, the focus of the transport community has been placed in the integration, i.e. to create a seamless, and quite possibly, multi-modal mobility service. For instance, the increasing trend in MaaS demonstrated the importance of this seamlessness in servicing people’s journeys. The concept of mobility breaks the boundaries of the traditional transport business, which was often siloed (as illustrated in the Physical Infrastructure section in Figure 1 below).

The rapid development in the IT field has disrupted this siloed approach and provided a more horizontal perspective (as illustrated in Digital Infrastructure in Figure 1). In order to provide the integration, there is a need for an overarching conceptual and logical architecture to ensure a holistic approach.

The conceptual architecture is technology-agnostic, describing the working concepts of the future transport management environment (akin to a Concept of Operations). The main challenge is to design a conceptual architecture that is intended to be based upon a future vision, rather than being shaped by current state thinking and solutions (i.e. future-proof). The future transport and mobility environment operates as a system that includes elements of technology, information, processes and infrastructure enabling the safe and secure movements of people and freight all across Australia.

Project objectives

  1. To define conceptually the elements of the future transport and mobility environment in the form of a discussion paper.
  2. Currently transport authorities have a strong understanding of existing components, however with emerging technologies and concepts such as demand responsive transport, mobility as a service, connected vehicles, and so on, it is timely to capture what a future environment looks like and how these elements integrate with existing management and information services.
  3. To define a conceptual and logical architecture, showing the key components and the interacting elements of the wider environment.
  4. Current state assessment of transport and mobility management against the above conceptual and logical architectures – for Queensland and other willing states and road authorities. This is an opportunity to understand what elements of this future environment are already being filled by existing solutions, but also the gaps and areas in need of attention. Note that this should also consider offerings from non-government entities, that contribute to the transport and mobility environment.
  5. To scope a program of work for the development of Future Transport and Mobility Environment, building upon the work already underway across Australian States and the Commonwealth in areas such as freight, big data, mobility as a service and connected and automated vehicles.

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