With the constant increase in domestic freight activity, there are currently over 300,000 heavy goods vehicles and over 4 million vans on UK roads delivering products and goods across the nation. This had led to higher carbon dioxide emissions and a negative impact on the environment. However, the British government is kickstarting a program that will replace these fuel-guzzling vehicles with new and improved green delivery cars.
The Future of Mobility Challenge
Known as the Future of Mobility Challenge, the United Kingdom plans on establishing the nation as the world’s leader in the movement of goods, services, and people. Therefore two government documents were outlined on 30 July 2018 to support a greener future for business vehicles. The plans suggested that technology can be used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality. It also suggests that these vehicles can improve the safety of travel and diminish the number of accidents and insurance claims. Ultimately, it will also encourage economic growth in the UK and set the nation up to become a global leader. According to Transport Minister Jesse Normal, “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”.
What the Future Will Bring
As a result of the Future of Mobility call, the government is providing £12.1 million of funding for six projects that will focus on simulation and modeling to develop connected and autonomous vehicles. This includes self-driving electric cargo bikes, vans, quadricycles, and micro vehicles that will replace heavy goods vehicles and big vans across the country. The government has committed to the goal of seeing fully self-driving cars around the UK by 2021 and that this will ultimately improve the use of urban space and eliminate the negative impacts that business vehicles are inflicting on the environment. These self-driving vehicles will also become internet-connected, allowing them to link with each other and help avoid accidents on the road, defeat congestion, and reduce traffic. Furthermore, the government has also outlined its intention to ensure vans are zero emissions by 2040. Alternative fuels will become readily available for business vehicles and shared transport will be encouraged among goods delivery vans.
The British government is looking towards the future. It is trying to protect the Earth while also working to ensure the UK remains profitable and economically relevant after the effects of Brexit. With the kick-off of the Future of Mobility Challenge, the nation may see itself rising to the top of environmentally-friendly transport.