Digital is driving greater collaboration to meet the paradigm shift in transport infrastructure

Posted On: 
24th April 2018

SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business is bringing together our industry leading experts and best in class partners, including government, local and national transport authorities, city councils, transport providers, network operators, data providers, charities, academia and vehicle manufacturers to optimise UK transport systems.

Credit: 
Atkins

Digital is now shaping the opportunities within our physical and commercial transport world. It is creating personalised, on-demand and flexible mobility for everyone. 
We all recognise the growing demand for new technologies, and their rapid advances and adoption. 

Over the last decade, innovative technologies, products and services have either directly delivered, or empowered significant disruption across the transport sector - with the potential to reshape transport network management and shift the behaviour of, and opportunities for, end-users.

Some of the most significant changes have been through the introduction of smartphones and other information and communication technologies that have enabled an ever-growing range of services to be provided to the end-user, and huge quantities of up-to-date data and information to be shared in real time between relevant stakeholders. These technologies are also key enablers of radically new concepts of transport operations that lie at the heart of Intelligent Mobility (“iM”).

For SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins’ business, iM focuses on innovative ways to make mobility easier, safer and greener to improve people’s lives and wellbeing while optimising existing local transport services. The increasing range of ‘on demand’ services allows us to make choices that were previously inaccessible or unavailable, disrupting established ways of doing business and creating many opportunities for collaboration.

Why is change and adaptation needed?

According to the United Nations DESA report , the world population is projected to increase to 8.5 billion, the majority of which are expected to live in or near major cities and metroplexes.  

Transport demand continues to increase in towns and cities, beyond the reach of current capacity. It is clear that the “status-quo approach” is simply not sustainable. 

While an expansion of the existing infrastructure seems to be the obvious choice, spatial constraints, especially in cities, alongside the need for better urban design, greener spaces, clean air and less congestion amongst others, makes this option unviable. 

The alternative is to increase capacity through increased efficiency, based on radically new concepts of transport operations, unlocking more capacity through more efficient and flexible use of infrastructure. 

Collaboration is unlocking potential

The transport sector has been characterised by a high level of fragmentation, with little strategic coordination between relevant market stakeholders but there are many reasons to feel cheerful.

SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business is bringing together our industry leading experts and best in class partners, including government, local and national transport authorities, city councils, transport providers, network operators, data providers, charities, academia and vehicle manufacturers to mention but a few, to optimise our transport systems.

While collaboration between transport stakeholders remains a great challenge, ultimately the core enabler is the human – willing or not to adopt a new lifestyle. 

Our collaborations take a human-centred approach. By understanding how we can match rapidly developing transport technology with what people do, need and want, we can assure public trust and acceptance and accelerate the adoption of new ways of travelling for the benefit of all society.

Fundamentally, the success of intelligent mobility hinges crucially on the collaboration between all relevant stakeholders. The scale and rate of penetration will depend on three main pillars – communication, collaboration and coordination. 

We must continue to be proactive and build on the work started across the sector and act together.

Visit the intelligent mobility hub: www.atkinsglobal.com/im

TOC Ability

SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business is part of a consortium called TOC Ability , which is developing a digital platform that will improve rail travel experience for disabled passengers in the UK. 

By sharing passenger’s journey requirements in advance, TOC Ability aims to enhance accessibility to rail services. 

Funded by the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) Innovation Programme, TOC Ability is one of six successful projects from the Train Operator Competition 2016. 

SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business is leading the VENTURER consortium . Co-funded by the UK government, VENTURER is a rich partnership of public, private and academic experts, which is establishing the South West of the UK as a centre of excellence for the trialling of Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) technology. 

VENTURER focuses on the users as well as the technology enabling CAVs, in order to understand the blockers and drivers to wide-scale adoption of CAV capability. 

The VENTURER trials go hand in hand with developing an understanding of the insurance and legal implications of increased vehicle autonomy. VENTURER conducts its trials using both realistic simulation environments and a controlled road network.