UK can lead in IM market

The Intelligent Mobility market will be worth £900bn by 2025, according to a presentation at this week’s Low Carbon Vehicle Event 2016, held at Millbrook.

The presentation was conducted by the Transport Systems Catapult (TSC), an elite technology centre established and overseen by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. Its overarching aim is to bring UK businesses together to collaborate and develop the technology and systems that will help the UK lead in a sector that is expected to be worth billions in the coming years.

Dr Paul Zanelli, chief technical officer, said, ‘There are new entrants to the intelligent mobility sector and investors are flooding in. It’s become mainstream. It’s one of the most exciting fields out there. But the shift is creating huge uncertainty. It’s hard to predict what the next generation will want, and how do you invest in infrastructures when the models that created them are breaking down?

‘It’s a global race, and we need to create an environment that will make the UK a world leader in transport innovation.’

That vision was shared by 100% of the attendees, according to a digital survey, although 63% also said the UK didn’t have a shared idea for intelligent mobility, and 88% said they thought a growing skills gap could undermine UK ambitions.

On its website, TSC has identified 12 key challenges for intelligent mobility after assessing data from a survey of 10,000 people. It’s now developing roadmaps to overcome them – and is inviting comment and debate from a cross-section of industries to encourage knowledge sharing and collaboration.

Of the dozen challenges, one of the fundamental ones is improving multimodal journeys. Today customers have to buy multiple tickets from multiple sources. The end goal is one ticket, one transaction and one data source.

‘Mobility as a service,’ Dr Zanelli explained. ‘There are challenges, but it’s a huge opportunity and I think the UK is well-placed to become a leader in this field. But we can’t be complacent.’

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