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25 January 2019

Rapidly-changing mobility environment is challenging policymakers, says UK DfT

First published25/01/2019

Policy makers are working hard to make sense of a rapidly-changing mobility environment, according to a senior official from the UK’s Department for Transport (DfT).

Ella Taylor, DfT’s head, future of mobility, Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (C/AV), says the pace of development in transportation modes, such as e-scooters (not currently allowed in the UK) and e-bikes (which are), presents difficulties for governments trying to create standards and laws.

“Across the globe, different modes challenge the way we are doing regulation,” she told the Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum in London this week.

When it comes to hot-button issues such as AVs, she said that removing the driver from the equation is going to have a positive impact on road safety – but events such as Uber’s fatal crash in Arizona emphasise the need for explanation and reassurance.

“How do you juggle that challenging situation and make the public understand why you’re supporting this strategy?” she said.

The DfT plans to release a strategy on the future of urban mobility “soon”.

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