The UK is at the forefront of transport technologies and innovation and is in an ideal position to capitalise on the opportunities they offer for the benefit of the economy, society and the citizen, the Foresight Future of Mobility Report published by the Government Office for Science (GO-Science) said.
The report, being launched by Government Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance, states that the Industrial Strategy and the Mobility Grand Challenge will play a crucial role in helping the country realise this ambition, building on the expertise and knowledge.
The GO-Science report looks out to 2040 and discusses areas in which society and government face key choices to capitalise on the opportunities change brings.
According to the report, technologies such as self-driving and zero-emission vehicles will drive innovation and behavioural and social sciences will be required to maximise the impact of these technologies.
Behavioural and social sciences will bring about a clear understanding of how citizens and businesses make decisions and interact with the transport system.
The report also places the movement of goods around the country on an equal footing, as logistics contributed £121bn to the UK economy in 2017 and employed 2.5 million people.
It said that data will continue to grow in importance to 2040, because of which the ability to use data to integrate various forms of passenger and freight transport will be important. Shared data of Transport for London (TfL) generates £130m a year for the economy.
In 2016, two billion tonnes of goods were transported in the UK of which 89% was by road, and there are ample opportunities to use technology in freight.
Real-time understanding of systems will improve understanding of trends and make it easier to design integrated systems, spot disruptive trends quickly and improve decision-making.
The GO-Science report said that the potential of technologies such as self-driving vehicles to support wider objectives can also be realised.
It also examines four scenarios: incremental progress; domination by technology; environmental and social issues taking precedence; and prevalence of less data-sharing.
However, it said that none of these scenarios is absolute and choices will have to be made for the right mix.