Travel in Britain in 2035: Future scenarios and their implications for technology innovation

The transport sector is crucial to the UK economy as a whole, and successful transport technology innovations will benefit not just the transport sector but all areas of life that rely on the movement of people and goods. This study focused on using a scenario approach to explore which transport innovations would give the biggest return in terms of maximising the efficiency of the existing transport infrastructure, and where the UK technology sector could make a difference, by the year 2035.

RAND and Risk Solutions approached the project in three stages.

First, we identified the six key technologies that may influence the effectiveness and efficiency of transport:

  • autonomous vehicles
  • next generation ICT connectivity
  • advanced manufacturing (3D printing)
  • user apps / big data and intelligent processing
  • the Internet of Things
  • novel materials and embedded sensors in infrastructure.

Next we developed three future scenarios to examine the influence of these technologies on travel:

  • Driving Ahead– based on higher-than-forecast economic growth and widespread use of autonomous vehicles
  • Live Local– with moderate growth and use of travel substitution due to advances in communications technology
  • Digital Divide– in which technologies advance but are not evenly distributed because of increased income inequality.

Finally, we interviewed experts and policy makers about the key policy implications of the scenarios. We then developed a strategic roadmap to inform future UK policies and investments.

Further information 

You can download the report from the links below, or contact the report’s lead authors, Charlene Rohr,, and Eleanor Baker,, for more information.


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