Since establishing in 2019, Reed Mobility has picked up a number of projects in the connected and automated mobility (CAM) space. Writing for *Zenzic, Director of Reed Mobility and ITEN member Nick Reed explores the impact of Covid-19 on CAM.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, what is in store for the future of transport and the “new normal”?
Right now, we are being reminded there is no static ‘normal’. Instead, we’re learning that society continually evolves and adapts in response to new technologies, societal norms, policies and environmental challenges. Once previous activities begin to resume, the disruption caused by COVID-19 offers the chance to change transportation for the better.
With employees required to work from home whenever possible, many businesses and organisations are exploiting online tools to use for meetings, presentations and education. From this, there will be a consideration of the time and financial cost of travel which could be reduced if equivalent outcomes can be achieved using virtual methods of working.
In a relatively short time, we have seen the benefits of quieter roads and an improvement in air quality. With the UK Government recognising that “public transport and active travel will be the natural first choice for our daily activities” there is certainly impetus in that direction.
COVID-19 has forced us to be conscious of our proximity to each other and touchscreens. These issues could then have an ongoing implication on the development and design of our transport systems, especially for shared vehicles. This could lead to vehicle designs allowing for a compartmentalised interior to give passengers privacy. Alternatively, it could lead to purpose-built single occupant connected and self-driving vehicles.
Looking to the future, there are some critical decision points coming up about how the transport system reacts to the current crisis. Whatever the decision, it will be the data that will be vital in determining our next steps.
*Zenzic was created by government and industry to focus on key areas of UK capability in the global connected and self-driving sector. A sector predicted to be worth £907 billion by 2035.