The Department for Transport (DfT) has today (March 19) set out how it wants technology to make transport greener and more efficient.
Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy, which the DfT calls ‘the biggest regulatory review in a generation’ around new transport, includes regulations for new types of vehicles including e-scooters and bicycle trailers, how sharing data can improve services by reducing congestion, and how journey planning and payment can be made more simple through technology.
It also looks at modernising laws from the 1800s that it says are ‘providing a barrier to innovation.’
The review also sets out ‘nine key principles’ that will guide government decision-making to ensure new transport technologies are safe, accessible and green.
These include being: safe, secure and guarded against cyber threats; accessible to older people and those with visible and non-visible disabilities; and in line with the government’s ambition for a zero-emission future.
Meanwhile, the government is launching a competition for up to four new ‘Future Mobility Zones’, funded by £90m, to test ideas to improve journeys for people across the country.
It’s hoped the competition will encourage ideas that use smartphones to make travel in towns and cities more convenient, reliable and cheaper.
Future of Mobility Minister, Jesse Norman, said: ‘We are at a potentially pivotal moment for the future of transport, with revolutionary technologies creating huge opportunities for cleaner, cheaper, safer and more reliable journeys.
‘Through this strategy the Government aims to take advantage of these innovations; connecting more people and bringing big benefits we hope for both the economy and the environment.’
Mike Hawes, chief executive, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), welcomed the review.
‘The automotive industry is responding to perhaps the most significant change since the invention of the car,’ he said
‘Mobility as we know it is evolving, improving people’s day-to-day lives with implications for all of society. Today’s strategy offers important guidance on the objectives and principles underpinning the future of mobility in towns and cities, while giving industry scope to invest and innovate, developing exciting new services.’
‘We look forward to working closely with government and local authorities to shape the Strategy’s implementation, helping to position the UK as a global leader in future mobility.’