UK government starts work on Future of Mobility Grand Challenge

UK government starts work on Future of Mobility Grand Challenge
Shared mobility and internet connected vehicles could link with each other helping to avoid congestion and reduce traffic

New plans for the Future of Mobility could be the start of an exciting and profound change in how people, goods and services move around the UK.

The new development for innovative travel around the UK has been outlined today (30 July 2018) as part of 2 government documents – Last Mile and Future of Mobility – which offer a glimpse into how technology could transform transport, making it safer, more accessible and greener than ever.

A wave of electric cargo bikes, vans, quadricycles and micro vehicles could replace vans in UK cities as part of plans to transform last-mile deliveries, reducing emissions and congestion around the country.

With over 300,000 HVGs and over 4,000,000 vans on our roads and online sales continuing to increase, this is likely to increase further. However, new green delivery vehicles could replace the millions of conventionally-fuelled vans.

Changing the future of mobility in the UK

Travel around the UK could change quite substantially with the introduction of flying vehicles or the use of self-driving cars, whilst using data to help deliver better journeys.

The potential increased use of self-driving vehicles and shared travel could also allow many of the parking spaces to be removed in city centres, opening space for redevelopment.

The documents are the start of the Future of Mobility Grand Challenge, which aims to make the UK the world leaders in the movement of goods, services and people. The work is all part of the government’s Industrial Strategy and the work could help to:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Make travel safer,
  • Improve accessibility and
  • Present economic opportunities for the UK.

Transport Minister Jesse Norman said: “The UK has a long and proud history of leading the world in transport innovation and our Future of Mobility Grand Challenge is designed to ensure this continues.

“We are on the cusp of an exciting and profound change in how people, goods and services move around the country which is set to be driven by extraordinary innovation.

“This could bring significant benefits to people right across the country and presents enormous economic opportunities for the UK, with autonomous vehicles sales set to be worth up to £52 billion by 2035.”

Challenges towards travel

Societal changes are already changing the way people travel, with just some of the changes including people driving less overall. As a result, the government has used its Future of Mobility call for evidence to outline trends to shape the future of UK transport, they include:

  • Cleaner transport – the government has already outlined its intention for all new cars and vans to be effectively zero emission by 2040
  • Automation – improved sensors, increased computing power and the potential of artificial intelligence are leading to increased automation in transport
  • Data and connectivity – internet connected vehicles could link with each other helping to avoid congestion and reduce traffic
  • New modes – UK cities are already pioneering the use of drones to support emergency services
  • Shared mobility – use of shared transport could reduce congestion and emissions
  • Changing consumer attitudes – technology is changing the way people expect to be able to travel with more users expecting to be able to plan, book and pay through their phones and
  • New business models – new business models are beginning to emerge, such as Mobility as a Service (Maas).

The government is expecting these trends to lead to safer travel, more accessible transport, cleaner journeys and make cities better to move around and live in.

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