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Earlier this month we welcomed a wide range of experts to contribute to the UK Connected and Automated Mobility Roadmap to 2030 during the ‘Meridian Roadmap Workshop Series’. As we reflect on the successful workshops, it is important to be reminded of why connected and automated mobility (CAM) is so important, and the role the roadmap will play in articulating the UK’s path forward.

Innovation in transport has enabled some of the greatest advancements in societal transformation to date. Be it enabling transportation of goods, affording ease of travel for leisure or business or championing complex logistical tasks, road-going vehicles have become integral to society.

However, safety remains an issue, and one that connected and self-driving technologies can help to impact positively.

  • 9% of road collisions are caused by human error

  • 74 people are killed or seriously injured on roads in Great Britain every day

  • The World Health Organisation predicts road traffic accidents are the leading cause of death globally for people aged 15-29

The problem lies with us. Our perception, our tendency for distraction and lack of awareness of those around us reduce the safety of the transport network. The very nature of driving needs to be rethought if there is any hope of painting a different picture. Fortunately, the emerging technological capabilities in mobility are promising in tackling the issues.

Since 2014, the UK Government has invested just under £250million in CAV testing and development (including R&D) with a further £130million invested by industry. This has supported over 82 R&D projects and 8 infrastructure projects with over 200 partners from a variety of organisations.

World leading research and development is underway in the UK, but how is it being brought together? Is there a common direction that stakeholders are aiming towards to enable a cohesive and focused vision for the entire UK CAM ecosystem?

With accelerating international developments, as well as the growing significance of the CAM opportunity, the UK must be bold in grasping this opportunity... In doing this, we can confidently place our stake in the ground as a nation leading on CAM.

The comprehensive UK Connected and Automated Mobility Roadmap to 2030 will define a clear vision for the future. This single vision will bring together the entire UK CAM ecosystem, working towards a common direction, showing dependencies and articulating a path to scale. This is a tool for decision makers as well as, those defining policy and focusing on investment.

Three of four ‘Meridian Roadmap Workshop Series’ events took place in early April, exploring the themes of Infrastructure, Services and Society & People, with a further workshop focusing on Vehicles planned for the end of April.

By placing emphasis on input from industrial partners as well as policy makers, the roadmap will ensure the right decisions are made to position the UK as a world-leading force on the international CAM stage.

Meridian will launch its first version of the roadmap this September. The coming months will see a finalisation of the data capture process, analysis across the themes and streams, as well as a thorough stakeholder engagement process. In crafting a foundational tool for the entire CAM ecosystem, support from industry experts is invaluable to realise its full potential.

We look forward to communicating interim insights as the roadmap progresses, sharing with contributors and stakeholders an initial look into the emerging milestones, groupings and overarching structure of the roadmap. Proactivity sharing this information will achieve our aim to enable the CAM ecosystem to align with the roadmap vision crafted by the very same organisations and stakeholders. Thank you to all who have attended the workshops to date and have contributed to the roadmap.

Tristan Bacon, Research Associate, Meridian.