Future of Mobility

Our region is home to world leading science and technology innovators who are developing the connectivity solutions of the future.

EEH will strengthen engagement with regional partners in universities, research facilities and the private sector, to maximise the use of ‘living laboratories’ as a means of trialling innovation in the region at scale and speed.

Working together, proposals will be developed that encourage the scaling up of trials to the regional level at the earliest opportunity.

The region is a leader in the development of the technology associated with the use of electric vehicles and connected autonomous vehicles, technology that has the potential to be a key part of our transport system moving forward.

The work underway in and around Oxfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Milton Keynes provides the region with access to experience on which it can build. Delivering new approaches, ownership and business models that facilitate access to transport is a key part of the transition to net zero. ‘Mobility as a service’ (MaaS), car clubs, demand responsive transport (DRT) and shared mobility (including micro mobility) will be supported where appropriate.

As new forms of mobility emerge and are tested, we will review the transport strategy’s travel hierarchy to ensure it continues to be relevant/ fit for transport users.

The availability of fixed and mobile digital infrastructure is central to enabling the region to exploit its leadership in innovation in the transport sector to the full. Not only is digital infrastructure critical to the collection and use of the data underpinning user‑focused services, it also offers the potential to help reduce the need for travel in the first place.

Harnessing the potential of our business community in the development of new solutions and businesses will not only benefit the region, it will also provide the UK with a competitive edge.

During the period of the 2022-2025business plan, we will...

  • Collaborate on the future of mobility with the region’s innovators in business, academia and local government. This includes developing a pump prime fund to support collaborative bid development on common challenges and priorities.
  • Ensure a continuous approach to sharing learning and experience, to ensure new opportunities are strengthened by lessons learnt from the past. Through the continuing work of EEH innovation working group, facilitate a community of best practice for EEH local authorities, and enable a flow of information between them and the region’s private sector innovators and universities.

Smart junctions

By leveraging and scaling smart junction technology, local transport authorities could manage the prioritisation of specific modes at different times of day. Adopting this approach has the opportunity to bring improved efficiency of strategically important junctions and corridors which in turn result in a reduction of carbon emissions; improvement in journey times; improvement in journey time reliability and more efficient use of existing transport assets.

A number of ‘smart junction’ real world test sites have been deployed in the UK, including in Cambridge where a junction is currently being managed under test conditions by smart cameras and a machine learning algorithm. The outcomes so far have been positive with the AI broadly matching traditional ‘scoot’ and ‘mover’ enabled junctions.

EEH is in the process of commissioning a study with City Science that will look to quantify the possible benefits of scaling smart junction technologies across the region. The study will explore opportunities for better environmental outcomes and better connectivity which, by implication could bring economic benefits across a scaled up “test site”.

The EEH commission focuses on maximising the use of the existing highway network. It will remain largely technology-agnostic but will review the current effectiveness of current smart junction technology as part of an assessment of application solutions for a scaled-up area, like the EEH region.

The project is due to start in January 2023. The conclusions of the study will provide the next step in an evidence base on which EEH can work with local authorities across the region to develop a proposition. If viable, EEH will lead the exploration of funding opportunities for a region-wide pilot, exploring both innovation funding and conventional government funding routes.


Cllr Emily Darlington of Milton Keynes City Council is EEH's Innovation Board Champion.

Emily Darlington