Rigorous testing could delay IAP introduction: TCA

By: Jason Whittaker

"Rigorous" testing methods and the need for potential service providers to meet strict guidelines means the launch of the Intelligent

"Rigorous" testing methods and the need for potential service providers to meet strict guidelines means the launch of the Intelligent Access Program (IAP) may be further delayed.

According to a presentation given by Transport Certification Australia in November last year, at least one IAP service provider was to be certified by December 2007 while up to three providers were to be operating by March this year.

But TCA Chief Executive Chris Koniditsiotis says they were not guaranteed dates.

"There are no pre-set times or pre-set agendas," he says.

"Ultimately we are governed by the readiness of the IAP service providers to demonstrate that they are ready and able to do it."

Koniditsiotis says TCA is in the final stages of testing IAP units.

"They’re going through some final tests, it all looks pretty good and we are confident the first one [service provider] will be announced in early February," he says.

"When the service provider meets their obligations, they’ll get the tick."

Getting ‘the tick’ has been hard for service providers, who have had to meet a number of stringent requirements in order to gain certification.

"It’s testing in a humidity environment, in a temperature environment, in an impact environment, testing it to see how it will perform under different operational conditions," Koniditsiotis says.

"Our testing is very rigorous."

However, Koniditsiotis says the equipment provided is not faulty, but rather the amount of time taken to test the products has delayed the implementation of the IAP.

"We have got to take the box and make sure it meets the requirements. As you achieve the outcome you become certified."

Koniditsiotis says communication issues have also delayed the launch of the IAP.

"The biggest challenge we have had is conveying the finer details of the specifications to the telematics industry," he says.

But he makes no apologies for the delay, saying it is in the interests of the transport industry for TCA to ensure IAPs are subjected to strict guidelines.

"The transport industry is relying on us to get it right," he says.

Adding to the delay has been the number of companies applying to become certified service providers. Koniditsiotis says TCA has been inundated with applications.

"We expected three applications; we received much more than that," he says.

These companies cannot be named due to confidentiality agreements signed between TCA and the applicants, he says.

Once IAP goes live, Koniditsiotis says the trucking industry will have access to more than one service provider.

"You will have full market competition," he says.

Furthermore, he says truck operators will have sufficient time to install an IAP before the transitional period ends and jurisdictions make it compulsory for all operators to use the system.

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