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, to 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 done by 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 Mayor of London is investing in multiple cycle superhighways and 130 regeneration projects city-wide. In 2021, the UK government launched the “greenprint” - a plan to decarbonise all modes of domestic transport by 2050, including a £2.8bn investment to support the switch to cleaner motor vehicles.[2]

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 a large pool of software developers, a dense population of tech talent and an innovative mindset, London is a European hub for mobility.

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 9,000 electric vehicle charging points – 32% 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.[3]

Transport for London has a dedicated innovation department focused on improving the city’s mobility services and which often uses a challenge-led approach. By the end of 2024, customers on the Tube will be able to access the internet within every station and tunnel.[4]

5. Ecosystem

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

From the Intelligent Mobility Accelerator, run by Connected Places Catapult and Wayra, to Smart Mobility Living Lab, the UK’s most advanced testbed for future transport technologies and services, London is the perfect city for mobility innovators.

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

Infographic about mobility in London

Free expert advice on starting a business in London

Contact our team

The latest business news in London

Sign up to our newsletter

Contact us

Our team can advise you on every aspect of how to start a business in London, free of charge.