Urban population will double by 2050 and as cities grow, so will urban transportation; congestion will increase which will have a huge impact on other factors like environment and commuting time. Cities are full of cars, buses, trams, trains and pedestrians and therefore cities need to make transport mobility smarter, reliable, green and more efficient.
Mobility underpins everything we do as individuals, people need to move around to secure basic human needs. It is one of the most intractable challenges faced by government but the adoption of smart solutions can help to improve efficiency of the system and redistribute demand across routes and time. Technologies and services like smart parking, smart ticketing, real time journey planner, command and control centre, bike and car sharing enable smarter mobility and they benefit travellers, service producers and urban planners.
The growing demand for smart mobility solutions will address the congestion problem which currently costs the UK economy £15.3 billion per year in loss of production.
With over 53% of the world’s population now living in urban areas, mobility has become the number one issue for cities. Finding a solution to this challenge requires the combined expertise of transport, energy and ICT industries.
Britain is renowned as a world leader in each of these sectors and is well placed to become the global location of choice for the demonstration of Smart Mobility products, services and business models.
Smarter mobility means using the right fuel/powertrains for the right application in different environments. Using the right fuel / energy vectors for the right journeys is imperative, the use of electric cars at their current development are much more energy efficient in cities than at high speeds on motorways, where energy use is almost double.
£9 million of government funding for electric cars is delivering a major boost to cities and their economy. Cities such as Milton Keynes are offering 15,000 free parking spaces as part of the “Go Ultra Low City Scheme”
The government are also investing £600 million in cleaner, greener vehicles by 2020. This will help improve air quality, create jobs and will help in achieving the goal of every car and van in the UK being zero emission by 2050.
Councils across the UK have been invited to apply for a share of £60 million of new funding to support sustainable travel. The funding is to aid councils boost walking and cycling and councils across England are to bid for a share of the Department for Transport green “Sustainable Travel Access Fund”.
This funding is to encourage councils to offer sustainable transport initiatives and will support projects from 2017 – 2020. Councils are being encouraged to work together and devise and discuss schemes that can work for councils up and down the country. Green sustainable transport schemes cut congestion, improve air quality and can make it easier for people to get around more efficiently and effectively.
Making public transport smarter is something that Transport for London have really been focusing on, all ticket machines on the underground have been upgraded and improved and more machines have been installed. Making public transport easier to use and smarter means more people will use this mode of transport, which not only helps with carbon emissions but with air quality as well.