Government urged to take lead in enabling data sharing across transport sector

Transport Systems Catapult (TSC) has urged the government to help facilitate data sharing across the transport sector, or risk hampering innovation.

Fears around cyber security, lack of data skills and a traditional view of transport modes as separate, are restricting the free flow of information, according to a new report from TSC, the Open Data Institute (ODI) and Deloitte.

By overcoming these barriers, TSC said the UK could unlock £14bn of benefits by 2025.

It wants the government to help industry develop a data culture by providing a framework for secure access and guidelines for opening and sharing data. This would be led by a Mobility Data Hub to help the public and private sector work together.

The report shows investment in data could lead to faster journeys, lower emissions, improved regional connections and opportunities for job creation in an emerging technology sector – without the need for large infrastructure building projects.

TSC chief strategy officer Andrew Everett said: “Overcrowding on our rail network, congestion on our roads and the ongoing struggle with pollution and climate change can all be addressed by intelligent solutions, which make use of the opportunities afforded to us by new technologies.

“However, data is the key that unlocks the door to these innovations and, under the current status quo, data accessibility levels will remain inadequate for the UK to benefit fully.

ODI chairman and co-founder Nigel Shadbolt said: “Failure to act on open data will mean poorer quality services, reduced transport connectivity and a lost opportunity for the UK to use Intelligent Mobility as a driver for economic growth and social change.”

Speaking at month’s Freight in the City Spring Summit, TSC principal technologist Andrew Traill told delegates of the role enhanced data sharing could play in boosting innovation in the urban freight sector.

  • TSC is the UK’s technology and innovation centre for intelligent mobility, harnessing emerging technologies to improve the movement of people and goods around the world. It forms part of a network of not-for-profit technology and innovation centres established and overseen by Innovate UK.