How the transport technology strategy is changing public services
The Future of Transport programme, a UK government transport technology strategy, is important to get to grips with.
After diving into what transport technology is, we wanted to go a little further and take a look into how the the public sector is using the technology. Also, how is it utilising the transport technology strategy?
There are a few things the UK government has committed to, as well as some projects already taking place. As the Government Office for Science said back in January 2019, ‘changes in the nature of working and shopping, new technologies and behaviours – such as automation, vehicle electrification and the sharing economy – are already having an impact on how the system functions’. So now, two years later, what’s happening?
What is the Transport Technology strategy?
In 2020, the UK government outlined a new transport technology strategy. It’s called the Future of Transport programme and aims at increasing the use of innovative solutions for transport. It also has goals to make the UK a lead of transport technology.
Its main goals are:
- Encourage innovation in the sector
- Create new markets for transport
- Update the transport system for 21st century use
- Secure the UK as a world-leading innovator – and a leader in environmental and societal improvements.
You can find the programme here on Crown Commercial Service’s website.
Moving forwards with transport technology adoption
After the strategy was published in November 2020, it was essential to get the ball rolling. Yes, work has been going on for a while now, especially with work towards Smart and IoT solutions. However, this strategy was a statement of intent.
A lot of recent work is being done with citizens to get their opinions. They’ve also been working hard to get data on their intentions too. This will help shape the future of what services or tech is procured and bought by the public sector.
For example, research shows that only 9% of people buying a new vehicle plan to buy an electric one. Is this because of lack of charging stations? 22% of people say that it is a concern. The government has to tackle three areas here:
- public sector organisations’ interpretation of innovative technology and how it helps,
- citizens’ attitudes to new technologies,
- and how suppliers of these technologies can get involved.
How are suppliers supported?
There are initiatives to help suppliers get in tune with the transport technology strategy. This is to make sure their solutions are environmentally friendly and add social value to the public sector. For example, in response to COVID, the government awarded grants and funding to suppliers very recently – including £1m to start-ups.
Aside from this, Crown Commercial Service have been hard at work for nearly two years a new version of the Traffic Management Technology 2 framework. This is to cater for the strategy and to provide a platform for the public sector procure this technology easy, compliantly and efficiently. Transport Technology & Associated Services is due to open for applications in April 2021 and be available to use (by buyers and suppliers) towards the end of the year.