The changing dynamics of transport use coupled to economic and population growth is rapidly increasing pressure on existing infrastructure and services. This is apparent not only in rapidly growing megacities like Seoul or Mexico City. In the UK, road traffic is projected to be 46 per cent higher in 2040 than 2010, and Transport For London predicts a 60-80 per cent increase in use of underground and rail services in London by 2050, driven by a population rise to 11 million. A great deal of money is being invested to increase capacity and develop new infrastructure for both road and rail in the UK but further investment alone will not be enough to cope.
Against this, our relationship with transport is changing. In developed countries – including Britain – there has been a consistent downward trend in the percentage of young people owning a driving licence. Major car manufacturers like Ford and Nissan are investing heavily in car sharing and rentals, while mobility apps like Citymapper and Uber are hugely popular. The city of Helsinki is even fundamentally changing its transport offer in response to these trends. Transport is increasingly seen not as a physical asset to purchase like a car. Instead, all transport services from cars to buses to rail will be provided as a single service available on demand.
Are we just trying to solve our 21st century transport problems using 19th and 20thcentury inventions will a little help from IT and remote sensing? Or do we need a quantum leap in technology and a paradigm shift in thinking to address these problems? And how will our changing transport behaviours affect how we use transport services, not just practically but in terms of how we expect our services to be provided?
Transport Systems Catapult is organising a Hot Topic event in partnership with innovation charity Nesta to explore these questions, and how we can realise a future of Intelligent Mobility. The audience are invited to quiz a panel of thought leaders in Intelligent Mobility:
Registration opens at 6pm with the event starting promptly at 6.30pm and followed by networking drinks at 8pm. This is a free event, and you can register on the Nesta website.
Transport technology will be on show before and after the event including the Transport Systems Catapult’s Manchester smart table, an interactive simulator that introduces users to the concept of Intelligent Mobility via an interactive display based upon the transport system of central Manchester. Other showcases are being provided by ITO World, Route Monkey, and Faxi.