UK transport industry should change investment approach, says report

Posted: 18 September 2018 | | No comments yet

A new report has detailed how emerging innovations, like autonomous cars and open data, should be the focus of the transport industry’s investment approach.


New research has stated that the UK needs to change its approach to transport investment in order to capture the economic and social benefits of emerging transport innovations in connected and autonomous transport, new mobility services and open data.

The new report, from Transport Systems Catapult (TSC) and Deloitte, shows the ‘intelligent mobility’ industry could be worth £1.4 trillion globally by 2030.

Growth in the intelligent mobility industry is projected to be significantly higher than the whole transport sector and promises faster journeys, smart ticketing and hassle-free journey planning – without building new roads and railways or adding more vehicles. This is because the new market builds on existing infrastructure, maximising the use of existing capacity and providing new benefits to customers, rather than being part of the established supply chain.

The TSC identified several areas where the UK has a strong opportunity to make an impact. The largest opportunity lies in connected and autonomous transport, rather than traditional cars. The fastest growth lies in new mobility services (such as ride-hailing and smart ticketing).

The UK is currently working well in using open data to improve transport.

Current investment into R&D in the UK is dominated by traditional products and infrastructure investment – only 24 per cent of investment goes into new services. The TSC recommends a shift in investment models, which would allow innovation to be focused on services across road, rail and private hire, alongside traditional up-front infrastructure expenditure.

Transport Systems Catapult CEO, Paul Campion, said: “Innovation in the transport sector is driving growth, encouraging a new breed of transport start-ups and changing the business model for large established multi-nationals. Autonomous vehicles might be the poster-child for this revolution, but it is data that is driving many of these developments, allowing rapid progress across the sector and new methods of delivering transport services. The UK is well placed to capitalise on the huge market potential this brings. But, we must invest now in the right areas to ensure we can compete in this market before other countries take the lead.”