Transcript for #GCC2020 showcase: Telstra


Matt Thomas

Hello Game Changers, my name's Matt Thomas and I'm part of the Telstra mobility team.


Game Changer Challenge 2020

Matt Thomas

I'm a telematics solution lead which means I look after all things related to smart cars and automated vehicles.

So what's an automated vehicle I hear you ask?

Well an automated vehicle is a vehicle that doesn't require any human intervention to drive it.

But more on that later I'm really excited to be here today and tell you what Telstra's doing in this exciting space that is evolving rapidly.

And Telstra is involved in many different facets.

You may not realize but today Telstra has over 500 thousand vehicles connected to our mobile network.

And they're connected to perform a raft of activities that keep the drivers safer, more productive and ultimately reduce costs.

Personally I'm really passionate about road safety.

And that passion comes from being a really keen bike rider.

Each year I ride around 8000 kilometres on our roads so I love coming into work and talking with organizations about how we can make our road system safer, for myself, my friends, family and people like you.

And it really gives me a passion and purpose coming into work to do that kind of activity.

Automation in vehicles is going to help the driver either a little or a lot.

And it's going to do that by way of a combination of sensors, cameras, radars all in the vehicle operating in a sophisticated manner to support the driver.

And there's going to be various levels of automation on our roads.

And automation of vehicles will start at level zero, whereby there's not much assistance for the driver whatsoever.

And then we go all the way up to level five.

And level five is when it will be a fully automated vehicle with no assistance whatsoever from the driver.

And that's where we're heading in the future.

Vehicles will use mobile connectivity on the Telstra mobile network.

And they'll use that connectivity to do a raft of things including;

Connecting and talking to other vehicles on the road system - so if you can imagine one vehicle effectively talks to another vehicle and lets it know that it's there and what it intends on doing.

The next one is going to be vehicles talking to infrastructure, such as traffic lights.

You can imagine that coming up to a set of traffic lights and the vehicle or the traffic light knows that no one's around, so the traffic light effectively turns green and lets you go through.

If you can imagine having an app on a phone that effectively allows a vehicle to know that you're there and around and that vehicle can then take appropriate action to avoid or give you more space.

You may not know but 94% of all road accidents are caused by human error and automated vehicles will definitely improve the safety on our road systems.

For starters we're not going to have people drink driving, speeding, driving when fatigued and a raft of all other things such as being distracted by phones, that cause many of the accidents that kill people on road systems today.

So it's a really exciting proposition knowing that automated vehicles are going to help support the drivers and the environment that we're working in today.

Automation of vehicles represents a significant cost saving for our economy.

For starters it costs billions and billions of dollars each year with accidents.

It costs a lot of money to fix vehicles, to fix the infrastructure and most importantly to fix the people.

So if we can reduce the number of accidents occurring, then we'll significantly reduce the cost on our economy.

There's a lot to be gained from a productivity standpoint.

For starters the average person spends around 40 hours a year stuck in traffic.

Congestion is a massive problem on our road systems.

Can you imagine you spend nearly two days of your life stuck in traffic.

More efficient vehicles and more efficient ways of driving those vehicles, is going to help us as well from an environmental perspective.

If you can imagine there's going to be less greenhouse emissions which helps us all, and help save our beautiful planet.

As well as helping us from a health perspective.

Keeping all things like pollution down to as minimal as possible.

One of the other benefits is that older people, people with disabilities or people without licenses, will be able to hop into an automated vehicle without the assistance of a driver.

And that is fantastic.

Imagine if you're a kid just going to school being dropped off by yourself without your parents it's got to be fun.

Or if you're an elderly person who's able to all of a sudden become more mobile and go and see their friends and family more often because they can be self-sufficient in an automated vehicle.

There are many challenges to bringing automated vehicles onto our road systems.

There's different government rules and regulations between different countries and different states that all need to be considered.

As well as there's so many different vehicle manufacturers today and everyone has a different way of doing things.

And we've got to come together in some sort of standard, whereby we're all operating under the same manner and we're doing the same things to get the same outcome for everyone.

You may not even need to own a motor vehicle moving forward.

And insurance! We need to understand who's responsible when an accident occurred and that may not be so easy when there's a computer doing all of the driving for you.

Teamwork is going to be so important as we move towards automated vehicles.

There's so many different roles that need to come together collaboratively, such as the government, there's security concerns, there's vehicle manufacturers, there's app developers...

There's so many things that need to be considered and everyone needs to share their expertise for the broader, wider good of the community.

Many of the jobs don't even exist today.

And for me that's what's really exciting and the possibilities are endless.

And you get to apply a lot of what you'll learn in your stem subjects moving forward, to really make a difference to our community and the world at large.

Nobody really knows what effect automated vehicles will have on our lives into the future.

And by the time you're old enough to drive, you may not even need to drive.

It's such an exciting space and I can't wait to see the possibilities moving forward.

And i really encourage you if you've got an interest in the stem subjects; science, technology, engineering and mathematics to keep pursuing those.

It's a really exciting space and I know that you'll enjoy it as much as I do.

And who knows, we might get to work together at some stage.

And finally, I wanted to say a big congratulations to all of the 2020 Game Changer contestants.

You should be very proud of your achievements so far and I wish you all the best into the future, moving forward.



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