Arup is an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, architects, consultants and technical specialists, working in the future mobility space. Following their contribution to the UK Connected and Automated Mobility Roadmap to 2030: CAM Creators Update, we spoke to Tim Armitage, who leads on future transport systems within Arup’s Advanced Digital Engineering Group.

Arup & connected and automated mobility to date 

Arup’s work across the connected and automated mobility (CAM) space is varied. The team simultaneously helps UK towns and cities prepare for the introduction of CAM, while also working to support a global client base to understand the impact of CAM on their businesses. The specific benefits of CAM are key to the evolution of urban environments, and Arup’s transport scheme designs have CAM adoption as their focus. 

What, in your opinion, is the single most important job the Roadmap is doing?

The Roadmap helps to show which milestones should be in reach, and which need to be supported by other activities before they can be delivered. It is a useful authoritative guide, which highlights the complexity of the domain and identifies the key players who must come together to realise the benefits of CAM. 

For Arup, the Roadmap provides a credible, independent reference that we can use to validate our approach to commercial projects.

What kind of infrastructure requirements are needed to implement a CAM-ready city?

That’s a question we get asked a lot, and there is no straight-forward answer! It very much depends upon what element of CAM is being envisaged. Having said that, reliable and ubiquitous digital infrastructure is essential, together with an understanding of the digital strategy needed to underpin efficient CAM operations. 

Physical infrastructure needs evolve at the same pace as the introduction of connected and automated mobility services, with segregation being a strong recommendation at present, though this will become less so as the technology develops and becomes more commonplace.

Your Roadmap submission mentioned metro-style services. Can you talk us through that in a little more detail?

We believe that CAM technologies can revolutionise urban transport, and that automated road vehicles will have the ability to provide frequent, affordable ‘metro-style’ services in cities and towns. Metro-style services means the ridership does not support the more traditional underground metros of track-based tram systems. We have undertaken a number of feasibility studies, which have taken an overall systems approach. These considered the vehicles, infrastructure and vehicle control, all from a perspective of affordability and deliverability.

Thank you to Tim from Arup for taking the time to talk to us. Explore the latest Roadmap release, which includes contributions from Arup and 116 other organisations in UK connected and automated mobility.