At its simplest, Intelligent Mobility is about moving people and goods around in an easier, more efficient and more environmentally-friendly way. It uses new ideas and new technologies to look beyond traditional, infrastructure-heavy approaches to transport, and to instead come up with innovative ways to improve mobility and make journeys better and accessible to all.
As well as making good sense for travellers, Intelligent Mobility also represents a massive business opportunity for the UK. Joint research by the Transport Systems Catapult and Deloitte has found that by 2030 the global Intelligent Mobility industry could be worth around £1.4 trillion – with the UK well positioned to take full advantage, thanks to its world-class universities and significant clusters in aerospace, automotive powertrain, rail and marine.
This new market is projected to grow at a significantly faster rate than the transport sector as a whole, since it builds on existing infrastructure rather than looking to replace it. Intelligent Mobility promises faster journeys, smarter ticketing and hassle-free journey planning – without the need for new roads and railways or an increase in the number of vehicles.
Intelligent Mobility will create solutions that look significantly different from the transport methods we use today. But, to do so, it needs to draw upon expertise and insight from a much wider range of technical, social and regulatory fields than has been the case with traditional transport.
The Transport Systems Catapult was created specifically to address this challenge, using its status as a neutral, not-for-profit organisation in order to overcome barriers to innovation and to help grow the UK’s economic share of the Intelligent Mobility sector.
As part of this mission, the Catapult has identified three core sectors in which the UK is well positioned to play a leading role:
Our research has shown that the UK has the academic expertise, technological know-how, industrial strength and breadth (encompassing both big business and innovative SMEs) and openness to investment for it to play a leading role in the IM market. Further investment will be critical, however, particularly in terms of research and skills development, if we are to stay ahead of our nearest market rivals.