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The use of AI for traffic and logistics management is growing remarkably in developing countries

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Transport, Highways and Mass Media Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardhana presented his views at the closing day roundtable discussion of the 2023 Global Sustainable Transport Forum held in Beijing, China. The forum was held under the theme “Building Sustainable Global Transport Relations.”

“I intend to focus on several issues regarding the need for building a consensus with a strong relationship among all countries regarding Global Sustainable Transport.”

“The current financial crisis for infrastructure development is one of the main problems faced by Sri Lanka in terms of reducing carbon or introducing modern vehicles with zero carbon emissions. Due to fraud and corruption in the transport sector, the public sector as well as private bus owners has to suffer huge losses. Therefore, the need of the hour is to introduce smart IT solutions for managing the fleet of trains and buses and introduce digital systems for ticketing. Sri Lanka is somewhat lagging behind compared to other countries regarding the introduction of smart apps.”

“Heavy traffic increases travel time and costs. It also adversely affects air pollution. Excessive consumption of fossil fuels also has a severe impact on foreign exchange. Therefore, it is essential to carry out reforms in the transport sector, giving high priority to the heavy traffic congestion in the commercial capital, Colombo and other major cities.”

“There is a strong need to develop investment in logistics, especially in the transport sector, which links ports, airports and industrial zones. A separate road system is required for that as it contributes greatly to reducing traffic congestion and increasing the efficiency of transportation.

“The use of artificial intelligence for traffic and logistics management is growing remarkably in developing countries. However, its implementation in our country is being delayed due to existing obstacles in improving the road infrastructure and modernizing the vehicle fleet. But developing and sharing knowledge about it through international training programmes is very important at this moment for planning the future.

I take this opportunity to express my special thanks to the Chinese Government and EXIM Bank of China for their financial and technical support, not only for the transport sector but for the development of Sri Lanka at all times. I believe that the strong relationship between China and Sri Lanka since the 6th century will remain unbroken for the success of both countries.

Further, I would like to state that the experience gained through this Forum will be very helpful in making more effective use of global sustainable transport under the scope of transport and highways.

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