By Paul Hollick, managing director
There is much talk about business mobility in fleet circles. But what exactly does ‘mobility’ look like?
The government is about to spend millions on finding the answer.
November’s Autumn Statement earmarked billions of pounds for investment in business infrastructure. The cash includes nearly £1 billion to expand digital communication networks, £80 million for smart ticketing in public transport and £100 million for testing self-driving vehicles.
Britain’s new National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has been ordered to launch a study to select the new technologies with the greatest economic potential.
I’m in full agreement with the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, when he says: “Areas like digitalisation, the internet of things, big data, and artificial intelligence will all create opportunities for improving the way we operate.”
TMC believes that business mobility will be a transformational trend for organisations in the next decade. By bringing together fleet, travel and payments, business mobility will widen employees’ travel options, allow people to work more productively and give companies far more visibility over costs than they have today.
The Treasury’s support for coordinated investment in physical and electronic infrastructure is very good news – and it strongly supports what TMC is working towards.
At the business-to-business level, TMC are already making excellent progress in the UK and Europe with our data and payments partnerships. But for everyone to reap the benefits of business digitalisation we need government-level investment in new technologies and in connecting existing infrastructure to them.
TMC will definitely be looking for every opportunity to work with the new commission as it sets out to define the UK’s policies around mobility.
What is the NIC?
The NIC will become a permanent executive agency in January 2017. It’s job is to coordinate the UK’s future plans for nationally significant infrastructure. This responsibility has hitherto been divided up between separate agencies, e.g. the Department for Transport and Ofcom.
What will the study look into?
The government wants the Commission to:
- Identify which emerging technologies have the most potential in terms of optimising the management, performance and maintenance of existing and future infrastructure assets to support economic growth;
- Make recommendations to government on what actions it should consider to support the deployment of those technologies across infrastructure areas and sectors, including identifying where trial approaches may be appropriate.