Innovate UK launches UK Transport Vision 2050

Innovate UK has announced the launch of its UK Transport Vision 2050. The new document sets out the changes, challenges and opportunities that will confront the transport sector over the next 30 years.

The vision is an in-depth study that sets out what the UK transport system may look like in 2050 and outlines the likely steps along the way to achieving this.

The aim is to gather UK government and industry around a single vision. It will inform how we all invest in the future of transport as an interconnected system that delivers for people and places.

It is also to provoke debate, and Innovate UK is seeking feedback to help refine and improve the vision.

Innovate UK has identified six areas where steps need to be taken to achieve the 2050 vision:

  • travel and transport demand
  • connectivity
  • energy vectors
  • autonomy
  • business models
  • infrastructure.

The vision and pathways highlight major new opportunities for economic growth and societal benefit, showing how businesses need to adapt and evolve in order to secure market position and grow.

These challenges and opportunities are largely the same across the globe. The major trends identified are:

  1. powering of transport in the future will radically change, bringing significant opportunities and risk for UK design, production and supply chains
  2. electricity, hydrogen, ammonia and sustainable fuel will replace petroleum and create new opportunities for generation, production and distribution
  3. greater connectivity, autonomous systems, new business models and robotics will transform transport. The UK has great strengths in these areas, and the estimated global market size for vehicle data alone is $750 billion in 2030.

The Transport Vision 2050 has grown out of extensive research into the future of transport and out of consultation with our partners in both the public and private sectors.

This vision document will be regularly updated and used to inform decisions on future investments. The future is yet to be written. Innovate UK look forward to working with all to invest in the future of transport.

Indro Mukerjee, Chief Executive Officer at Innovate UK said: “We will use this vision and our assessment of the UK’s relative strengths to determine where we invest our efforts over the coming years. We hope it will also inform and guide our partners in the public sector and in industry when they are making their investment decisions. We also welcome feedback to help us refine and improve this work.”

Robert Ampomah, Chief Technology Officer at Network Rail said: “This vision complements Network Rail’s Traction Decarbonisation Network Strategy and Long-Term Deployment Plan to digitalise the railway. We know that a joined up vision of the future transport system is essential if we are to deliver the best transport system for future generations.”

Kevin Craven, Chief Executive Officer at ADS Group said: “ADS is delighted to see the launch of Innovate UK’s Transport Vision 2050 document setting out a clear vision and a number of pathways towards a more sustainable and a more connected intermodal transport future in the UK. We look forward to working with Innovate UK to further drive industry and government collaboration on innovation to help achieve the vision and fully realise the economic and societal benefits of a connected, sustainable transport eco-system.”

Ian Constance, Chief Executive Officer at the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), said: “This high-level review of the UK’s vision for transport demonstrates the very sizeable investments required to transition industry and wider society to net zero over the next 20 to 30 years. The APC would welcome continued government support that would enable the UK to focus on key priorities in this transition, with significant economic, environmental and societal benefits as a result.”

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