Dr Mike Short, Department for International Trade (DIT) chief scientific advisor, said the UK needs to get better at collecting and opening access to transport data in order to boost innovation.
Dr Short spoke to delegates at the recent Virtual Smart Transport Conference and said that without sufficient access to transport data, cities of the future simply cannot be smart.
He said: “We see that innovation and management of our transport systems will depend ever more on the availability of data.
“This needs to be opened up to make sure innovation can flow.”
Dr Short said data will go beyond understanding ticketing habits on public transport, but can open up infrastructure planning, maintenance, mapping, navigation, congestion reduction, air quality tracking and the facilitation of electric vehicle usage.
He said: “From what we can see in Europe, there are already lots of initiatives on research and development for 5G corridors and highways.
“That increased connectivity speed will be an enabler to generate more transport data.
“Making your vehicles and infrastructure more connected might be obvious for transport planners, but as information starts flowing in, we need to make sure there is a way to open it up and properly analyse it.”
As vehicles become more connected, Dr Short said he would like to see all connected vehicles with sensors being able to share aggregated and anonymised data to road managers and transport planners to help monitor road maintenance, plan routes and even weather conditions.
Dr Short praised the example of London’s Datastore which is a free and open data-sharing portal where anyone can access data relating to the capital.
This means that whether you're a citizen, business owner, researcher or developer, the site provides over 700 datasets to help understand the city and develop solutions to London's problems.
Dr Short added: “There is a need for smart city and smart transport data stores. London has shown with its data store that it can help with innovation immensely.
“Because of the city data store, we have seen innovation around city mapping and navigation.
“A lot more of this would occur across the UK if there were more city data stores.
“Let’s please make sure that smart transport is enabled by a much richer data ecosystem that will bring about a lot more innovation and capability for our industry.”
All of the video presentations and live Q&A sessions from the free Virtual Smart Transport Conference is now available for a limited time period at virtualsmarttransportconference.com
Smart Transport would like to thank its Headline Strategic Partners for their support with this virtual event including ABB, AECOM, Centrica, DAF Trucks, Enterprise, FedEx, Geotab, LeasePlan, Liberty Global, Macquarie, PJA, Raleigh, Renault and Worldline.
The full line-up of Virtual Smart Transport Conference speakers included:
Andy Burnham - Mayor, Greater Manchester Combined Authority
Anthony Smith - Chief Executive, Transport Focus
Beate Kubitz - Director of Policy and Communications, Future Mobility Research
Ben Lawson - VP Strategy Europe, Enterprise Holdings
Bob Moran - Deputy Director Head of Environmental Strategy, DfT
Bridget Rosewell CBE - Chair, M6 toll & DVSA
Carl Bayliss - VP Mobility & Home Energy, Centrica
Chris Morris - Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Sustainable Ventures
Chris Sibthorpe - Regional Director Manchester, PJA
Claire Haigh - CEO, Greener Journeys
Conor Chaplin - Innovation, Research & Insight Officer, TfGM
Daniel Ruiz - CEO, Zenzic
David Elvy - Head of Future Freight Strategy, DfT
David Savage - Regional Manager, Geotab
David Waterhouse - Head of Infrastructure, Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government
Dominic Smith - Senior Transport Strategy Officer, Cycling & Walking, TfGM
Dr Lucy Mahoney - Network Manager, Walking and Cycling, C40
Ed Clarke - Managing Director UK & Nordics Road Network, FedEx Express
Ed Pegram - Business Manager Cycle To Work, Raleigh
George Lunt - Technical Director, AECOM
Gordon Young - Head of Vehicle Finance, Macquarie Bank
Prof Greg Marsden - Professor of Transport Governance, University of Leeds
Ian Forbes - Head of CCAV, DfT
Jason Simpson - Founder & Board Director, Liberty Charge
Karla Jakeman – Innovation Lead – Connected Transport, Innovate UK
Kim Sawyer - CEO, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority
Laurence Drake - Managing Director, DAF
Lindsay Humblet - Partner, Planit-IE LLP
Liz Hunter - Head of Transport Policy, West Yorkshire Combined Authority
Mark Dickens - Director, Groupe Renault
Martin Howell - Director, Transport Markets, UK & Ireland, Worldline
Martin Tugwell - Programme Director, England’s Economic Heartland
Matthew Walters - Head of Consultancy and Customer Data Services, LeasePlan
Dr Mike Short CBE - Chief Scientific Advisor, Department for International Trade
Prof Nick Reed - Founder, Reed Mobility
Nicola Kane - Head of Strategic Planning, Insight & Innovation, TfGM
Oliver Johnson - UK Head of Sales, ABB
Polly Billington - Director, UK100
Rachel Maclean - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, DfT
Rafael Cuesta - Transport Consultant, RCC Ltd
Richard Dilks - Chief Executive, COMO UK
Sam Li - Senior Innovation Officer, TfGM
Sarah Kumeta - Senior Innovation Officer, TfGM
Shane Fitzpatrick - Director of Integrated Transport (Interim), Liverpool City Region Combined Authority
Simon Warburton - Transport Strategy Director, TfGM
Stephen Bellamy - Interim Head of Commercial, Tyne & Wear
Stephen Briers - Editor-in-Chief, Bauer Media
Tracy Vickers – Head of Sustainable Transport, Essex County Council