Work begins on the UK government’s Future of Mobility Grand Challenge
New plans released by the UK government could be the start of a profound change in how people, goods and services move around the country.
New plans could see electric cargo bikes, vans, quadricycles and micro vehicles replace current transport in UK cities as part of the strategy to transform last-mile journeys, reduce emissions and lower congestion.
The plans are outlined in two government documents, Last Mile and Future of mobility call for evidence, which reveal the potential technology has to transform transport, to make it safer, more accessible and greener.
The documents are in support of the Future of Mobility Grand Challenge, which aims to make the UK a world leader in the movement of goods, services and people. The work could help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, make travel safer, improve accessibility and present enormous economic opportunities for the UK.
As part of this, the government has confirmed £12.1 million of funding for six projects focusing on simulation and modelling to aid the development of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) – essential for developing, testing and proving the safety of the vehicles.
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. Our Last Mile call for evidence and Future of Mobility call for evidence mark just one stage in our push to make the most of these inviting opportunities.”
The government has used its Future of Mobility call for evidence to outline the trends which could shape the future of transport in the UK. These include cleaner transport, automation, data and connectivity, new modes, shared mobility, changing consumer attitudes and new business models.
Initial work as part of the Future of Mobility Grand Challenge will involve the government aiming to ensure we have explored all the regulatory barriers to technological and service innovation. Work will also take place to understand how data can be better used to improve transport.
Ian Robertson, Future of Mobility Business Champion, said: “A transport revolution in the way people and goods move around will see more changes in the next 10 years than the previous 100. As the Future of Mobility Grand Challenge Business Champion, I’m looking forward to working with the government to help the UK build on its existing strengths and capitalise on that opportunity.”