Traveller Needs and UK Capability Study

Traveller Needs and UK Capability Study

Intelligent Mobility uses emerging technologies to enable a smarter, greener and more efficient transport system. Designed to explore Intelligent Mobility opportunities, The Transport Systems Catapult (TSC) study was first of its kind and combined the views of over 10,000 travellers across a vast demographic. It also gathered expert opinion from leaders in industry.

With collaboration between over 70 organisations across different sectors, industries and transport modes, the TSC Traveller Needs and UK Capability Study has provided insight into the way Intelligent Mobility could better meet the needs of travellers.


Currently undergoing rapid development, Intelligent Mobility presents a unique opportunity for the UK to lead the way in an industry estimated to be worth £900 billion globally by 2025. To realise this potential, the study focused on developing shared knowledge of what UK travellers truly value. What emerged was a comprehensive understanding of the needs and attitudes of a population who are ready for new developments in mobility.


The survey identified six of the UK’s capabilities as being ahead of most countries, with two capabilities identified as being ‘world class’. It also found that the UK is the ideal testing and learning ground for Intelligent Mobility. The study recommended investments and interventions in three key areas to establish the UK as a world leader in Intelligent Mobility:

  1. Research and development
  2. Experimentation and business model innovation
  3. Policy and legislation

Key findings

  • 53% of travellers always look for ways to optimise their journeys.
  • 72% have smartphones – 54% of whom already consider it essential to their travel experience.
  • 57% would not mind sharing their data for better services and 32% would share their possessions with others.
  • 39% would consider driverless cars today.
  • 31% of journeys made today in the UK would not have been made if alternative means were available that did not necessitate physical travel (i.e. ‘virtual mobility’).

The study also revealed where Intelligent Mobility has the potential to meet traveller needs by:

  • enabling lifestyles, acknowledging that there are different types of travellers and supporting them with mobility options to suit;
  • enhancing end-to-end journeys, actively engaging travellers in planning, with flexible and convenient options that are personalised and meet the context of their travel; and
  • removing pain points including parking challenges and by enabling smoother drives and enhanced multi-modal journeys.

A number of key audiences were identified as types of travellers. These included ‘Default Motorists’, who are high mileage drivers, ‘Dependent Passengers’, who depend on others for mobility, ‘Urban Riders’, who are city dwellers mostly using public transport, and ‘Local Drivers’, who are mainly retirees making low mileage journeys locally. One other key type of traveller in this rapidly evolving transport environment was identified and named ‘Progressive Metropolites’. This group make up 14% of the population and typically make 17% more journeys annually than the average UK adult (predominantly on public transport). Usually living in large urban centres, they are generally young professionals with a high disposable income who – with a 94% smartphone penetration – regard technology as essential to their everyday lives.

The need for quality, choice and access for these travellers has suggested that investors and developers could capitalise on the study’s findings to provide solutions that fulfil these. Digital disruptors such as Uber, Hailo and Citymapper are examples of transport solutions that are taking advantage of the potential the UK market offers.

Next steps

Another study is in the pipeline. This will explore key challenges for UK travellers, as well as for transport systems, industry, authorities, operators and innovators. It will also build on the findings from the first study, to enable a more detailed and advanced recommendation of products and services.

With fully established university partnerships and the support of the research community, Transport Systems Catapult is perfectly placed to further explore routes to success for Intelligent Mobility.

To read the full report, click here

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