Transport

Key features

  • The way that we use transport today is unsustainable

  • Improvements are needed in transport effectiveness and efficiency

  • We provide support to manufacturers to deliver new vehicle technologies

transport technologies
The UK has a strong transport industry, especially in the aerospace, road, rail and marine sectors as well as newer capabilities in intelligent transport systems. The transport manufacturing sector in the UK employs over 1.3 million people directly and turns over more than £123bn, providing nearly £40bn of GVA. 
 
But the way that we use transport today is unsustainable in terms of energy use, impact, efficiency and cost effectiveness.
 
We need to maintain the strong capabilities in vehicle and system design and development whilst considering the wider transport system. Transport generates about 25% of UK carbon emissions, and congestion is set to cost the economy £22bn by 2025.
 
Together with growing demand, this requires a step change in performance to deliver a sustainable transport system. We take these challenges and help turn them into opportunities for the UK to innovate and collaborate on new, potentially world-leading technologies and services.
 

Challenges

There are a range of barriers to innovation, which cannot be solved by industry alone. They include: 
  • Short-term demands in particular forms of transport which can divert businesses and academics from addressing the longer-term opportunities of integration
  • Automotive manufacturing supply chains need to be re-engineered to provide the components for new electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles
  • In the marine sector there is a need to share capabilities between the major shipbuilders, the leisure sector and their supply chains
  • In aerospace, the long-term nature of investments in new aircraft generates specific challenges
  • The balance of innovation risk and opportunity is delicate in rail, regulatory requirements for the introduction of new developments can limit innovation
  • Generally, innovation can be hampered by the lack of facilities for demonstration and validation at scale and in real-world situations.

Opportunities

We believe UK business can make a significant difference and generate wealth by:
  • Improving the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the transport system
  • Reducing carbon emissions from all vehicles as well as increasing their efficiency
  • Supporting the acceleration of new vehicle technologies in line with national priorities
  • Integrating different energy sources on transport systems and vehicles.
To take up these opportunities, the key players will need to continue to engage with the growing SME base to develop and commercialise new technologies.

 

Our priorities

Our specific objectives are to enable and encourage UK businesses, science and supply chains to benefit commercially from developments that improve transport effectiveness and efficiency and that support manufacturers to develop and deliver new vehicle technologies. We work in the following main areas: Aerospace, Road, Marine and Rail and we recognise there are great gains to be made if we can enable industry to consider transport systems as a whole.

We will continue developing a Transport Systems Catapult centre which opens in 2013. On the roads, new emission regulations will require new technologies and a new automotive supply base.

We have been supporting the development of low-carbon road vehicle technologies for over four years; we need to take these closer to production, while continuing to develop technologies which reduce carbon emissions.

We will work closely with the Automotive Council to identify key needs across its five strategic technologies, and will continue to work with colleagues in energy to understand opportunities in the development of hydrogen and fuel cells. 

The mainline rail sector has identified massive challenges. Over the next 30 years the industry needs to halve the cost and carbon footprint of rail operations and double the network capacity. The recently published Rail Technical Strategy along with the establishment of the Enabling Innovation in Rail team will help the industry overcome the challenges the industry has identified.

To better understand the opportunities and the developments needed, we will support analysis of UK capabilities, expanding the current focus on mainline rail to include light rail and underground.

We will be supporting the marine industry to identify UK capabilities in key areas with the help of the Marine Studies RoadmapThere is an immediate need to respond to the challenge of moving to low sulphur fuel and improving vessel efficiency. 

In aerospace, the medium term focus is on improving manufacturing systems to increase capacity and deliver innovative technologies to aircraft programmes. We will continue to work with the industry, in particular to understand the implications of the update of the National Air Traffic Services (NATS) roadmap and the outputs of the Aerospace Growth Partnership (AGP) activities.
 

You can find networking opportunities and further information on the Transport KTN.

Transport action plan 2013-14

Read the Transport action plan 2013-14, as taken from our Delivery Plan 2013-14 (as at May 2013). 
 


 

Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform

The growing pressure from customers and regulators for more environmentally friendly vehicles is creating new business opportunities for both the established industry and innovative new entrants.
 
The Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform invests jointly with the industry and other funders in interventions that promote UK-based R&D in low carbon vehicle technologies, and strengthen the relevant supply chains within the UK.
 
The Platform has leveraged £350 million of innovation investment for low carbon vehicle research and development since it was established in 2007 and run Europe's largest real-life trial of ultra low carbon vehicles: ‘The Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator' Co-funded by the Technology Strategy Board with DfT, AWM, ONE and the South East of England Development Agency, it involved public and private investment of over £50m.
 
Demonstration programmes were run by eight consortia around the country, including several of the major car manufacturers as well as universities, local authorities and power companies, resulting in around 340 vehicles taking part in extended trials on the roads.
 
The aim: to showcase new and emerging low carbon vehicle technologies in real world situations, and to identify potential barriers to their wider adoption. The demonstrators include in-vehicle data logging, user perception surveys, and consideration of the required local infrastructures.  View the initial findings.
 
In 2011-12 we launched a low carbon truck demonstration trial competition, majority funded by the Department for Transport,  investing over £11m to encourage road haulage operators to use low-carbon commercial vehicles.  
 
We also launched the LCVIDP7 competition with public and private sector investment totalling £56m.  Over £27m of public funding, from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and the Technology Strategy Board, together with £29m of private sector funding, has been invested in seventeen major research, development and validation projects.  
 
While many of the projects will be led by major vehicle manufacturers such as Ford, Jaguar, LandRover and Nissan a large number of small and medium-sized companies, including suppliers, will be closely involved in the development work. The Integrated Delivery Platform (IDP) aims to integrate the low carbon vehicle innovation chain, from the science base, through collaborative R&D to fleet-level demonstration.
 
The programme has secured funding from the Technology Strategy Board, the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, regional bodies and devolved administrations.

Our priorities

On the roads, new emission regulations will require new technologies and a new automotive supply base. We have been supporting the development of low-carbon road vehicle technologies for over four years; we need to take these closer to production, while continuing to develop technologies which reduce carbon emissions. This year we will focus on cost reduction and capability demonstration so that new technologies can move rapidly into production.

We will work closely with the Automotive Council to identify key needs across its five strategic technologies, and will continue to work with colleagues in energy to understand opportunities in the continued development of hydrogen and fuel cells.  We also plan to expand our successful UK low carbon vehicle programme into Europe.

Who we work with

Large societal challenges cannot be tackled by the Technology Strategy Board alone. We need to work with other key players to align our programmes for maximum effect. Our partners include:
 
Government
  • Central Government departments (eg DfT and BIS)
  • Office for Low Emission Vehicles
  • Other publicly funded bodies (eg CENEX, knowledge transfer networks and the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership)
  • Regional development agencies and devolved administrations
  • Research councils
Industry organisations
  • Vehicle manufacturers
  • Supply chain
  • R&D organisations
  • Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Ltd
  • The UK Automotive Council
Others
  • Universities, academics.
 The Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform has been working with key stakeholders to understand the research priorities needed to support the future developments of road vehicles to help reduce carbon emissions and therefore meet UK and EU climate change targets.