Future Mobility – Go Big or Go Home! TRANSPORT Smart Class, Scotland 2023 Retrospective


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MaaS and DRT pilots have had an emerging presence across England, Scotland and Wales over the last 5-7 years, but critics still point to the size and funds required in order to design, mobilise and operate them.

At TRANSPORT Smart Class, Scotland 2023, Matt Dacey and James West examined the “Go Big or Go Home” mentality, to understand how we can pivot from small scale pilots operating in isolation, to delivering operations at scale. Their joint presentation on behalf of Siemens Mobility and Padam Mobility explained why the potential of Mobility-as-a-Service and Demand Responsive Transport works best when delivered in a more ambitious manner, and explored how this could be applied to national projects in the UK.

Matt and James subsequently hosted deeper dive roundtable discussions with all delegates in attendance.

Presentation highlights:

  • UK Government Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy – “We have put the Future of Mobility at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy. With a long history of transport innovation, a world-class research base and many established technology leaders, the UK is well placed to harness its domestic expertise and to profit from a growing market for cleaner, safer and more efficient transport”;
  • UK Current Positioning on Future Mobility Options:
  • 1) Autonomous Vehicles – Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles; Automated bus trials in Oxfordshire and Edinburgh; Self-driving potential of UK PLC has slowed slightly; Legislation still limited;
  • 2) Demand Responsive Transport – BSIP and RMF Funding made available to test technology for these services; 30+ live projects, majority operations of less than 10 vehicles per zone;
  • 3) Mobility-as-a-Service – Original Whim service in TfWM launched 2018; Current testing across some Future Transport Zones, with DfT funding; HITRANS has led the way in Scotland; uncertain legislation over shared e-scooters;
  • Business Models and the unique dynamic of the UK market – Traditional MaaS model of long-term viability funded by revenue from ticket sales is challenging without critical mass of users and significant investment in marketing; Alternative modes of funding need to be considered, such as allocating funds from an employee parking levy or from road user charging; With many local authorities looking to procure their own platforms, concern of further fragmentation of the market; A nationwide scheme such as we see in other markets can consolidate the market and significantly improve the CX; By procuring a multi-tenanted platform, there is the opportunity to license to local employers and this can be done via API, SDK or white label app;

  • Can MaaS ever be financially self-sustaining?
  • Offering MaaS to 70 million people with latest MaaS projects;
  • How do we tackle Transport Accessibility outside of Urban/Peri Urban Areas? Challenges in Rural/Isolated areas and how MaaS and journey planning can help;
  • Managing Legislative Barriers in the UK and Abroad  – Five critical points for implementation of DRT services, also applicable to wider Future Mobility services and transport innovation;
  • Creating positives for transport inclusion from Future Mobility Systems- e.g. Economy of scale and cost reduction, service predictability, greater mobility for citizens, tourism in peripheral areas;
  • UK Future Mobility Projects – e.g. Mi-Link autonomous bus (UK’s first fully electric autonomous bus service), CAVForth (UK’s first autonomous bus service), Herts Lynx, breeze, and more;
  • How does Continental Europe Compare? Use cases from France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland and Germany

If you satisfy our regular delegate qualification criteria but were unable to join us in Edinburgh on September 7th for the live in-person event at Riddle’s Court, CLICK HERE and complete the short “Download form” (located at the bottom of the post) to receive a unique link enabling free access to the presentation video recordings and slides (including the film footage and slides from Matt and James’ initial presentation).

Those qualifying to receive the rich presentation content from this event include commissioning, procurement, trialling, partnering and policy leads, senior influencers, strategic decision makers and planners from local authorities (e.g. city, borough, metropolitan, district and county councils); public transport operators; regional transport partnerships, sub-regional transport bodies, combined authorities, integrated transport authorities and passenger transport executives; highways authorities and road operators; government and supporting national transport agencies; fleet operators, parking operators, prime contractors etc.

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TRANSPORT Smart Class, Scotland 2023

On September 7th we will be casting a spotlight over Scotland, hosting our speakers discussions on how the latest digital innovations can help overcome the transport and mobility challenges faced by the city-regions of Glasgow & Clyde Valley, Edinburgh & South East Scotland, Stirling, Tay, Aberdeen, Inverness & Highlands, and beyond.


   Edinburgh, UK

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Padam Mobility
Project Centre

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