Urban population will double by 2050 and as cities grow, so will urban transportation; congestion will increase which will have a huge impact on other factors like environment and commuting time. Cities are full of cars, buses, trams, trains and pedestrians and therefore cities need to make transport mobility smarter, reliable, green and more efficient.
Mobility underpins everything we do as individuals, people need to move around to secure basic human needs. It is one of the most intractable challenges faced by government but the adoption of smart solutions can help to improve efficiency of the system and redistribute demand across routes and time. Technologies and services like smart parking, smart ticketing, real time journey planner, command and control centre, bike and car sharing enable smarter mobility and they benefit travellers, service producers and urban planners.
The growing demand for smart mobility solutions will address the congestion problem which currently costs the UK economy £15.3 billion per year in loss of production.
With over 53% of the world’s population now living in urban areas, mobility has become the number one issue for cities. Finding a solution to this challenge requires the combined expertise of transport, energy and ICT industries.
Britain is renowned as a world leader in each of these sectors and is well placed to become the global location of choice for the demonstration of Smart Mobility products, services and business models.
Smarter mobility means using the right fuel/powertrains for the right application in different environments. Using the right fuel / energy vectors for the right journeys is imperative, the use of electric cars at their current development are much more energy efficient in cities than at high speeds on motorways, where energy use is almost double.
A major £900 million has been put forward by OLEV to increase the uptake of low emission vehicles. This new and fresh funding will see thousands more electric vehicle charge points that will be installed on the streets and at the workplace. These grants are to help install new charge points and the aim is for nearly all cars and vans on our roads to be zero emission by 2050. This funding is to position the UK at the global forefront of ULEV but the development; usage, manufacturing and infrastructure must support this, for this to be achieved.
This announcement is part of the government’s plan to improve air quality.
Local Authorities across the UK are responsible for improving air quality by reducing nitrogen dioxide levels and The Department For Transport have released a New Air Quality Plan that is currently in consultation stages. Government want Local Authorities to act faster when it comes to improving the air quality in their town / city and by reducing the amount of diesel vehicles on the road, accelerating cleaner transport and using solutions like Telematics to improve the efficiency of their fleet, all these factors help in improving air quality.
The Department For Transport has also provided £470,000 of funding for innovative projects to be adopted to make more people walk or cycle. This funding is open to individuals, groups, organisations, local authorities and in particular, SME’s. For more people to walk or cycle, the infrastructure has to be in place and then behaviour change and the manufacturing of new innovative solutions and ideas can support this aim and hopefully get more people opting to a cleaner mode of transport.