A wave of electric cargo bikes, vans, quadricycles and micro vehicles could replace vans in UK cities as part of plans to transform “last-mile deliveries” and reduce emissions and congestion around the country.
There are already 300,000 HGVs and over 4,000,000 vans on our roads and with online sales continuing to increase, this is likely to increase further.
But new green delivery vehicles could replace the millions of conventionally-fuelled vans which are currently a common sight in city centres.
Travel around the UK could dramatically change with the introduction of flying vehicles or widespread use of self-driving cars, all while data helps to delivers better journeys.
And the potential increased use of self-driving vehicles and shared travel could also allow the majority of parking spaces to be removed in city centres, opening areas up for redevelopment and potentially hundreds of thousands of new urban homes.
The ground-breaking developments are referenced in the government’s Last Mile and Future of mobility call for evidence documents, which have been published this week.
The documents fire the starting gun on the Future of Mobility Grand Challenge, which aims to make the UK the world leaders in the movement of goods, services and people.
The work is all part of the government’s Industrial Strategy and the work could help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, make travel safer, improve accessibility, and present enormous economic opportunities for the UK.
Funding for connected and autonomous vehicles
As part of this, the government is also today confirming £12.1 million of funding for six projects working on simulation and modelling to aid the development of connected and autonomous vehicles.
The capability will be essential for developing, testing and proving the safety of the vehicles.
Transport minister, Jesse Norman said: “The UK has a long and proud history of leading the world in transport innovation and our Future of Mobility Grand Challenge is designed to ensure this continues.
“We are on the cusp of an exciting and profound change in how people, goods and services move around the country which is set to be driven by extraordinary innovation.
“This could bring significant benefits to people right across the country and presents enormous economic opportunities for the UK, with autonomous vehicles sales set to be worth up to £52 billion by 2035.
“Our Last Mile call for evidence and Future of Mobility call for evidence mark just one stage in our push to make the most of these inviting opportunities.”