The Government has launched two calls for evidence on the future of mobility and on last mile deliveries, outlining key trends that could shape the movement of goods and people for years to come.
The research is part of the Government’s Future of Mobility project, one of four ‘Grand Challenges’ laid out under the Industrial Strategy. A full Future of Urban Mobility Strategy is due to be published by the end of the year.
Transport minister Jesse Norman said: ‘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 £52bn 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 call for evidence is split into two main parts.
Part 1 seeks views and evidence to inform our Future of Urban Mobility Strategy. It is divided into three sections:
- the background against which changes to transport are occurring
- DfT’s assessment of the emerging trends that will shape urban mobility in the next couple of decades
- consideration of the approach government should take to help cities harness the opportunities and address any challenges presented by these trends
Part 2 looks beyond the urban context to inform our wider work on the Future of Mobility Grand Challenge. It asks how best government can support innovation across the country, with a focus on:
- ‘mission-oriented’ policy-making
- ensuring a regulatory framework that evolves with the times
- resolving barriers to data sharing and use
The emerging trends, as laid out by government include:
cleaner transport – No new petrol or diesel vehicles are to be sold after 2040, while falling battery prices, improvements in electric vehicle technology and the development of alternative fuels are starting to shape transport in the here and now
automation – Self driving cars and buses are starting to be developed and trialled around the UK, and the Government suggests they will be seen on roads by 2021. While everyday use could be a long way off, improved sensors, computing power, machine learning and artificial intelligence are leading to increased automation in transport
data and connectivity – internet connected vehicles and the internet of things devices can not only link with each other, helping to avert congestion on roads, but also traffic lights and motorway signs
new modes – Flying cars? Flying urban vehicles are becoming increasingly talked about with trials being considered around the world. Meanwhile drones are already used in infrastructure inspections as well as surveys and potentially domestic deliveries.
shared mobility – The rise of commercial ride sharing has been talked about for some time, while shared use of municipal bikes in cities is a normal sight already
changing consumer attitudes – More users expecting to be able to plan, book and pay for transport through apps and more generally through their phones
new business models – new business models are beginning to emerge such as Mobility as a Service (Maas) providing seamless journeys, easier payment systems, better real-time information and allowing passengers to book multiple modes of transport at once
This call for evidence is designed to improve the Government’s understanding of the scale of opportunity as well as the current barriers to delivering goods more sustainability.
The call for evidence will explore:
- how electrically powered e-vans, micro vehicles and e-cargo bikes can provide better service to customers for cargo in comparison to light commercial vehicles
- the scale of the potential environmental and other benefits
- the barriers to sustainable last mile delivery
- what incentives might be appropriate to encourage a large-scale shift to clean, last-mile delivery options measures to improve logistical efficiency (e.g. urban consolidation centres / hubs)