London for smart mobility

Canary Wharf DLR station.
London’s infrastructure, digital connectivity and sustainability focus are shaping the capital’s mobility and transport plans. The UK capital offers a wealth of opportunities for mobility – from investment to testbeds, and from open data to a huge talent pool.

1. Strategy

The Mayor has set out an ambition for the capital to be zero carbon by 2030, alongside a transport strategy to achieve 80% of journeys to be walking, cycling or public transport by 2041. With one of the largest, most efficient transport networks in the world – coupled with an integrated transport agency, Transport for London – the capital has become a leader in smart ticketing, contactless payments and open data.[1]

2. Access to capital

The UK and London are investing heavily in sustainable infrastructure. The government committed to invest £1.3bn to accelerate the rollout of charging infrastructure[2]; the Mayor of London set a record of £2.2bn to make London’s streets better for walking and cycling; and multiple cycle super highways and 130 regeneration projects across the city have been funded.[3]

London is also home to a range of venture capital firms investing in the mobility space, including InMotion Ventures, MMC Ventures, Northzone, Atomico and Index Ventures.

3. Talent

With more software developers than any other European city, a dense population of tech talent and an innovative mindset, London is a European hub for mobility.[4]

The city is also home to some of the world’s top universities and academic institutions which boast a range of dedicated research centres and programmes for mobility, including:

  • Imperial College London’s Centre for Transport Studies and the Transport Systems and Logistics Laboratory
  • The Royal College of Art’s Intelligent Mobility MA programme, which looks to the future of all forms of transportation design
  • University College London’s MaaS lab which provides insight and guidance into mobility as a service plus four transport-related masters programmes
  • Loughborough University’s London campus, the lead academic partner for Smart Mobility Living Lab, a London testbed for mobility solutions

4. Innovation and sustainability

London is embedding innovation and versatility at the core of its services. The Mayor’s commitment to making London a zero-carbon city by 2030 is driving the transition towards the decarbonisation of transport. This is evidenced by the installation of more than 6,000 electric vehicle charging points – 26% of the UK total – and the introduction of the Ultra Low Emission Zone, which sets even stricter emission standards for vehicles entering the central area of the city.[5]

Transport for London has a dedicated innovation department focused on improving the city’s mobility services and which often uses a challenge-led approach. One of its successful programmes is London RoadLab which aims to reduce the adverse impact of roadworks.[6]

5. Ecosystem

London is home to dedicated government bodies, accelerators and incubators, and industry initiatives that support mobility businesses to grow and thrive.

From Connected Places Catapult’s Intelligent Mobility Accelerator and Plexal’s innovation hub on Queen Elizabeth Park, to Smart Mobility Living Lab, the UK’s most advanced testbed for future transport technologies and services, London is the perfect testbed for mobility innovators.

Use the filters in the map to discover the city's ecosystem.

London for mobility infographic


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