A review of the Transport study published last week reveals technology lies at the heart of many of its findings and suggestions.
The government sponsored report by Sir Rod Eddington on UK transport’s role in sustaining the UK’s productivity and competitiveness rely on new or more widespread technology adoption from remote working technologies to intelligent traffic management systems to fulfil its recommendations.
Eddington said any new transport strategy must respond to new technological advances, both in general purpose technologies, for example the use of the internet and real-time information influencing demand for transport and its provision, and more transport specific technology.
The report pointed to the growing trend that sees 14% of men and 8% of women work from home, which seems likely to rise with technology-driven opportunities for e-working and tele-working as a further influence on road-use reduction and its environmental impact.
In addition, the report points to developments in high-precision positioning systems, new sensor technologies and vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems to increase the effective capacity of the transport networks by allowing vehicles to travel closer together.
But according to the report, “many of these technologies are many years away and it is too early to judge whether any of the systems could be delivered in a safe and cost-effective manner”. It calls for more testing such as those pilots underway with the recently announced £7.5 million worth of government grants in urban areas for road toll pricing.