Embedded into the government’s industrial strategy and key to its implementation are four ‘grand challenges’ – artificial intelligence and data, ageing society, clean growth and the future of mobility. These reflect seismic global trends and meeting these challenges is crucial to putting the UK at the forefront of the industries of the future.
In each case, the government has developed specific missions aimed at addressing aspects of these challenges but, across the board, they will require a true partnership between public and private sectors to tackle effectively.
This strong partnership approach is already being demonstrated in particular in the area of emerging transport technology and intelligent mobility. Here the private sector is working closely with academia and the public sector on innovative research projects under schemes established under the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund or Innovate UK.
Developments in these areas are promising to deliver cleaner, safer, more integrated and more efficient transport. In doing so, transport and intelligent mobility can deliver the innovation, efficiency and productivity increases needed to drive the industrial strategy and cement the UK’s reputation for technology innovation.
They also promise to contribute much overall and individually to meeting the ‘grand challenges’. Ground-breaking work is being done on artificial intelligence and data on connected and automated vehicles and intelligent transport systems. Driverless cars, more responsive and integrated micro-transit services and better and faster connectivity will contribute to meeting the social and economic needs of an ageing society (both in work and out of work).
Electric vehicle deployment and research is accelerating developments in battery technology, smart grid management and hydrogen fuel cells promising cleaner air and reduced reliance on fossil fuels. And together they reflect a transformative vision of future mobility with new modes of travel, more intelligent transport systems, new ways of paying for and ‘consuming’ transport and a ‘mobility-as-a-service’ mindset.
With a strong background in the transport sector as well as complementary sectors such as energy, data and telecommunications, infrastructure and planning, Burges Salmon is proud to play an active and leading role in bringing new transport technology and intelligent mobility to market. Legislation and regulation has a key enabling role supporting public acceptance and bringing new technologies and models to fruition.
Our involvement includes our active partnership in four driverless vehicle projects (VENTURER, FLOURISH, Capri and Robopilot) as well as leading electric vehicle and battery solutions projects. Seeing these technologies in action and up close only reinforces the view of their central role in meeting the grand challenges of the future.
Brian Wong is a director in the transport sector group at independent UK law firm Burges Salmon.
Burges Salmon’s new report, Perspectives on infrastructure: Delivering the Industrial Strategy, explores further how the public and private sectors need to collaborate effectively to deliver the government’s industrial strategy. Further information is available here.
A version of this article was previously published in Infrastructure Intelligence
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Brian Wong – Director, Burges Salmon