SCC has told a prestigious audience of business and civic leaders that today’s mobile technologies have the potential to make an immediate and telling impact on many of the social and environmental challenges faced by cities around the UK.

Speaking at a special conference – Can Birmingham become a global leader in the adoption of new transport technologies? – SCC General Manager Workspace Roger Burgess challenged an invited audience of public sector leaders, business people and academics to consider how the intelligent use of today’s proven mobility technology could impact upon a wide range of issues including traffic congestion, energy use and pollution.

“While many discussions on the future of transport have a tendency to focus on the benefits of technologies that haven’t yet been perfected, we’re challenging both business and the public sector to think about how intelligent mobility can be used, right now, to make an immediate difference to some very pressing problems,” said Burgess.

The high-level event, organised by Innovation Birmingham and the Transport Systems Catapult, saw a panel of experts discuss the key emerging technologies that will fundamentally change how and why we travel.

Citing the rapid adoption and development of new technologies being used in transport; new means of processing payments; and new means of delivering live information to passengers as they use the transport network, the group argued that understanding the possible economic and social benefits from these new technologies will help harness significant opportunities for UK companies, inventors and investors.

The high profile thought leadership event took place only a day after big four accountancy firm Deloitte announced that it was now committed to giving all of its staff the opportunity to choose to work from home, potentially removing thousands of vehicles from the rush hour traffic at a stroke.

SCC also showed the 160-strong audience the example of a US trucking firm that used the tracking technologies built into mobile handsets and a computer game style leaderboard to reward its most efficient drivers. Wiping thousands of dollars off the firm’s fuel bill virtually overnight, it was cited as just one of thousands of examples where mobile technology is driving incremental but crucial changes.

Burgess commented: “This isn’t a future thing. It’s happening now. We already routinely create collaboration tools and virtual work environments that enable people to communicate just as well as if they were physically in the same room, and that has created an opportunity to massively ease the burden on our transport system by simply reducing the number of people required to use it on a daily basis.

“Imagine if every taxi driver in Birmingham was connected to an app that monitored the safety and fuel efficiency of his driving, or if every working parent had the ability to manage the demands of work and family life by doing their job remotely. Intelligent mobility has the potential to enable some very positive economic, environmental and social changes over the next few years.”

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