Focus Groups

Following initial interviews with key stakeholders, the TransiT team held a series of themed focus groups to discuss key challenges with a selection of specialist stakeholders from a variety of sectors and backgrounds.

Focus group themes

Many elements of transport, particularly decarbonisation, require solutions that cross the boundaries between modes. How do we ensure new digital systems are practical and suitable across different modes and geographical areas? What information needs to be exchanged to achieve success?

There are many elements of risk in transport decarbonisation, including uncertainty about government policy, the risk in backing the right technology, return on investment risk for financing projects. Digital capabilities, such as demand modelling or data on consumer behaviour have been mentioned as possible mitigations for this risk. How can these and other digital capabilities be developed to reduce uncertainty in transport decarbonisation?

Achieving net zero by 2050 is equally as reliant on behavioural change, as it is on infrastructural change. There must be a willingness from consumers to pay a premium for green services and goods. What actions and incentives can effect behavioural change? How can digital capabilities support these? And what must businesses do to incorporate changes to reduce emissions that will satisfy future regulation as well as market demand?

Different energy types are needed for different transport modes and technologies. Energy suppliers will need to know what energy type is required and where changes to infrastructure – such as overhead power supplies, EV charging ports, electric and hydrogen supplies – need to be deployed. What role will digital capabilities and digital twins have in transforming energy infrastructure to achieve transport decarbonisation targets?

New technologies, fuels and digital twins will require people with the right skills to manage them. Organisations will need to be able to intepret data to make decisions and investments. How can we ensure that skills and training keep pace with emerging technologies?

Many transport modes exist at differing levels of digital capacity and maturity. When discussing digitising assets and IoT (Internet of Things) during our consultation interviews, we have heard many organisations express concern over issues relating to data quality, privacy and security. What are the barriers that contribute to delays in digitisation by different transport modes? How can these be overcome?

The end goal for digital twins involves situational data being received and forecasting and decision-making all happening in real-time. But achieving this for every asset and infrastructure will involve significant investment by the transport sectors. How do we overcome hesitance by stakeholders due to uncertainty? What would provide more confidence and clarity to support transport providers? Are there interim steps that can be taken to ease the decarbonisation journey?

As we transition toward a net zero transport system, we have to ensure that the transport system operates in a reliable, safe, and affordable manner. The transition will involve investing in new infrastructure and energy solutions, and upskilling in emerging technologies. All of this will require a clear roadmap. What steps are required to make transition towards a net zero transport system well-managed and equitable?

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