A new Forum has been launched aiming to ensure that, by 2020, the UK transport technology sector will be renowned globally for the quality and value for money of its high technology products, systems, services and solutions, and for its overall and substantial contribution to the UK’s economic, environmental and social well-being.
The Forum brings together senior players in transport technology to give leadership, direction and support on behalf of the sector – stimulating and facilitating investment, innovation and UK business growth in the technologies and technology-based solutions used in transport networks. It aims to achieve a cohesive, coordinated and collaborative community and a cohesive, coordinated and collaborative approach to the adoption and deployment of technologies.
Manufacturers, system integrators and SMEs are represented along with adjacent sectors (eg telecoms, digital and space technologies) and key stakeholders representing road network operators and authorities, government departments and academia. Amongst these stakeholders are the Departments of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and for Transport (DfT), Highways England, Transport for London and local authorities, as well as ITS (UK), Innovate UK, and the Knowledge Transfer Network.
The Forum will focus on actions to liberate investment, uptake and innovation. In support of this, it will develop a vision and road map for transport technology in the UK, making reference to the many technology roadmaps being developed for cooperative and autonomous systems, intelligent mobility, integrated transport systems, the automotive industry, and adjacent sectors in the UK and elsewhere.
Four initial time-limited working groups have been established to generate the vision and road map and to address strategic themes which are aligned with it – mapping the current investment landscape, identifying and promoting the sharing of requirements common to national and local network operators, and developing a “voice” for the sector. The working groups involve experts selected for their objectivity and ability to drive collaboratively towards results as well as insight specific to the objectives. First results from the Working Groups are expected early in the autumn.
The Forum will meet regularly to maintain the vision for and aims of the industry, to establish and review the results of its working groups, to ensure momentum is maintained and to promote collaboration with key stakeholders across transport and into adjacent sectors.
The Interim Chairman will be Dr Daniel Ruiz, MD, Imtech Traffic & Infra UK Ltd (pictured). He said, “Technology on our roads and other transport networks can create capacity and reduce congestion way beyond the value of investment needed. With this group, the UK intelligent transport systems sector can complement the work of network operators, the vehicle and logistics companies, and others in UK transport; helping them fulfil their full potential on the UK and world stage.”
For ITS (UK), President Steven Norris said: “In a world in which more of us than ever live in cities connectivity and mobility are even more important. The Forum is great opportunity to ensure we in UK deploy leading edge technologies at home and overseas for the benefit of all”