UK transport could save 9.3m tonnes of CO2 a year with digital tech
The adoption of digital technology including telematics could significantly cut UK transport emissions, helping the Government to reach its net zero targets.
That’s the finding of a new research report from Vodafone and WPI Economics that calls on the Government to put the fast deployment of digital technology at the core of its forthcoming net zero strategy.
The ‘Connecting for Net Zero: addressing the climate crisis through digital technology’ analysis explores three sectors – manufacturing, transport and agriculture – and finds that existing digital tech, such as Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G, could reduce the UK’s overall emissions by as much as 4% a year, or 17.4 million tonnes of CO2e, across all three sectors.
Looking specifically at transport, the report highlights how the adoption of technology such as smart telematics sensors and 5G networks could save up to 9.3 million tonnes of CO2e annually – the equivalent of taking two million cars off the road. In towns and cities specifically, the bulk of the carbon savings from digital technology (87%) could come from the transport industry.
The report says there is a role for technology such as IoT and 5G to deliver a broad range of improvements in transport efficiency through Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). This includes vehicle telematics systems, enabling commercial fleets to optimise routing of each vehicle in a smarter way and backed by figures published by the RAC that suggest telematics alone has helped to reduce fuel use by up to 15% for some fleets. Traffic management and travel information systems also have an important role here in cutting transport emissions.
In 2019, Vodafone Business partnered with Geotab to create Vodafone Business Fleet Analytics (VBFA). The tie-up provides customers with vehicle data and actionable insights to monitor and enhance the safety, performance and security of their drivers, while also supporting a more sustainable fleet.
The report also says that to fully realise the benefits of IoT and 5G technology, the Government should create a regulatory and policy framework that removes barriers to adoption and incentivises the uptake of digital tech across the economy – and outlines its recommendations.
To access the Vodafone and WPI report, click here.