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Forging skills for the future of transport

22 Nov 2016

Yolande Herbath, of the Transport Systems Catapult, explains how smart cars, smart tech and smart people are revolutionising the way we travel!

The Digital age has already dramatically changed how we live our lives and it is now poised to create a revolution in the way we travel.  

By 2025, we are likely to see autonomous vehicles in regular use. These vehicles will disrupt the traditional car ownership model, transform the jobs market and even fundamentally change the design of urban environments.

Meanwhile, smart technology will increasingly manage the way we travel, combining transport modes into service packages which give access to the transport which best suits your circumstances. Imagine a seamless journey, planned via smart phone app which arranges taxis, train tickets, bus routes and more – adapting the itinerary as you go based on real time information about delays.

All you would have to do is tell your service provider where you want to go and what time you need to be there and the rest would be taken care of, using whichever transport methods best suit your needs.  

Behind the scenes, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence will enable better planning and use of transport infrastructure, reducing congestion and pollution. These technologies will also improve the way we interact with transport, improving the customer experience and reducing stress. We might find we are talking to our transport more and more!

Taken together we call these new advances in transport technology “Intelligent Mobility” – the smarter, greener and more efficient movement of people and goods. As the technology matures there is much to be gained in this new sector. The Transport Systems Catapult predicts the global Intelligent Mobility Market to be worth £900bn per annum by 2025.

A significant share of this market awaits those people, companies and nations who have the technical knowledge, entrepreneurial flair and most importantly, the skills to capitalise on this revolution in transport.  

Previous investment in skills development and innovation in our leading aerospace and automotive has helped produce world beating industries. With digital skills and transportation now converging, the digital economy is becoming synonymous with transport and the National Economy. Everyone is competing for rare skill sets which are in short supply.

The UK must now seize the moment to secure a pivotal role and drive global leadership in this area by investing in the development of highly skilled people who can develop new business models and new forms of transport that can truly revolutionise delivery and customer experience.

A shared vision across industry, academia and government will be vital. Not least because this new generation of transport professionals will need to be able to work across transport modes, rather than focusing on areas such as rail or automotive if we are to gain the full benefits offered by these revolutionary technologies.

With these things in place we can see a very exciting future in the world of transport.

You can read the TSC’s recently published Intelligent Mobility Skills Strategy at

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