Our transport and travel decisions around cities, towns and the country are set to change throughout the next 20 years. Our personal devices are becoming our preferred gateway into the world of transport: live journey planning, traffic updates, demand based pricing, ride hailing, smart ticketing and contactless payments are already available through the devices that many of us can’t bear to be without.
Additionally, the ever increasing penetration of smart devices into our lives, our roads and our transport vehicles will shape the future of travel in the UK and beyond. More and more, these digital, internet-enabled, location-tracking technologies are linking together in the Internet of Things. At an infrastructure level, it is expected that in the (not so distant) future, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) will make travel and traffic management better and safer for everyone. Twenty years ago, connected and intelligent mobility was envisaged to require a huge amount of costly, centralised, tangible infrastructure. But now, intelligent mobility systems are shaping up as a collection of readily available, physically de-centralised, hyper-connected devices.
These links, across a huge number of devices, will generate the big data that helps innovators understand and design services to help us manage our travel needs more efficiently. Additionally, some of the data generated is available on an open source basis reducing the barriers for new market entrants to create innovative solutions surrounding the world of transport.
One effect of our improving personal device and smart technology infrastructure and connectivity will be the creation of an ecosystem where new models of vehicle use and delivery of transport services can flourish. Personal car ownership is likely to become less prominent as our technology enables more appealing shared ownership models. The increasing reliability, attractiveness and prevalence of shared ownership models means they are projected to make up an increasingly large portion of our journeys. Shared use hire fleets, such as car clubs, are becoming an increasingly popular model of use and this is one of the business models expected to be replicated in the newly emerging CAV (Connected and Autonomous Vehicle) market.
Connected and shared transport innovations could provide the answers to key issues of congestion, climate change and road accidents. With fewer vehicles (public, private and shared) on our roads, we can start to become greener, leaner, safer travellers in a system that works together, instead of modes working in competition. In order to achieve that however, these intelligent transportation systems require a means of integrating all of the de-centralised elements of the intelligent transportation system – and their associated data. This requirement is stimulating the development of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) platforms which can harness and pull together the expanding number of connected transportation options.