Spotlight on

Future Mobility

The term future mobility covers all modes of transport – those that already exist and new ones that will be created. From electric vehicles and autonomous cars to e-scooters, hyperloops and solar powered planes, these changes to mobility are being driven by massive social, economic and technological trends.

It’s not just the automotive sector that’s affected - new ways of working, business models and industry collaborations are making us change the way we think about moving goods, services and people from A to B. Mobility is increasingly being viewed as a service with a shift from ownership to access, as can be seen from the increase in car-sharing and ride-hailing services.

We are at the start of a period of profound change: the ways by which we travel and move things will be very different from what exists in most of the world today. This is a revolution that will touch every corner of our lives. 


Marine & Ocean Engineering

The marine industry is large and complex and covers many areas. This fast paced and innovative sector is increasing its focus on green technologies, combining science, engineering and innovation to provide sustainable solutions that conserve the natural environment and minimise the negative impact on our valuable and vulnerable oceans.



The fast-paced automotive sector encompasses both design and manufacturing. The industry is currently being driven by powerful environmental, social, economic and technological trends. From the development and manufacture of vehicles to design and performance, engine and transmission systems to materials, structures and safety – the demands for ground-breaking technologies is high.

Read our Future Mobility Blogs

Is the future in the wind? Pyxis Ocean sets sail!

Is the future in the wind? Pyxis Ocean sets sail!

by Simon Parry

This week we have seen the bulk carrier Pyxis Ocean set sail (literally!) for the first time with its new retro-fitted “WindWing” sails, marking a significant step in the race to demonstrate the ...

Team Bath Racing Electric enters driverless car race at Silverstone

Team Bath Racing Electric enters driverless car race at Silverstone

by Daniel Brodsky

Team Bath Racing Electric is set to hit the track at Formula Student 2023, including the Dynamic Driving Task competition for driverless cars.

Ocean-based carbon dioxide removal is making a splash

Ocean-based carbon dioxide removal is making a splash

by Rob Walker

COP27 commences on 6th November 2022 and one of the key items on the agenda will be the rules around a planned mandatory global carbon credit market under Article 6 of the Paris Convention. Many ...

On track for net-zero railway: Hitachi’s Blues Train

On track for net-zero railway: Hitachi’s Blues Train

by Darena Slavova

In 1825 George Stephenson’s Locomotion took 450 people 25 miles from Darlington to Stockton at 15 miles per hour. The first public passenger steam train was born. Many would agree that the steam ...

The long road to safer micro-mobility

The long road to safer micro-mobility

by Rob Walker

June 2022 marked the first anniversary of the introduction of e-scooters in London as part of the Department for Transport’s (DfT) 31 trials of e-scooters across the UK. The DfT have also recently ...

Standards, SEPs, and FRAND agreements - an overview

Standards, SEPs, and FRAND agreements - an overview

by Charlotte Lynch

The terms “standards,” “SEPs,” and “FRAND agreements,” are increasingly being mentioned in the telecommunications sector, as well as others. You may be wondering what these terms mean, and what their ...

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Shifting Mobility Patterns – The Factors Driving Change

Increasing urbanisation and the growth of mega-cities provides the conditions for change in mobility patterns and practices. The global demand for passenger mobility in urbanised areas is set to double by 2050. Electric autonomous vehicles transporting people or products around cities are seen as an important response to rising levels of urban pollution and traffic congestion. The race to innovate in this area is well under way. 

Environmental concerns surrounding fuel consumption as well as air quality are leading governments around the world to encourage the introduction of cleaner technologies and more efficient use of the transport infrastructure. Several European governments have announced future bans on sales of petrol and in particular diesel-powered cars, and their gradual replacement with alternative, zero-emission fuels - the Netherlands by 2030, Norway by 2035, and France and the UK by 2040. Auto manufacturers in China are obliged to ensure that at least eight per cent of their new-car sales are electric or plug-in hybrids and in 2020 that figure will rise to at least 12%.

Safety is another key factor. Across the EU there were approximately 26,000 road accident fatalities in 2016 - a figure which has stayed fairly constant since 2013. Autonomous vehicles are predicted to greatly reduce this loss of life and cost to the economy. The World Economic Forum have stated that “One goal with autonomous vehicles is to confront and diminish the toll of such deaths, with 1.25 million people killed on the world’s roads each year.”

In line with other sectors of modern economies, the mobility sector is seeing a shift from ownership to access. Car manufacturers are investing in mobility services or partnering with ride-hailing firms in anticipation of a growth in shared economy models and further advances in automation. The phrase ‘intermodality’ has been coined as transport systems become more integrated, which can benefit both industry and commuters. Enabled by AI, smartphones and heavily backed by VC investment, these new business models are changing established patterns of mobility.

Open pages of Green IP Report

Green IP Report

Patents are both a driver and a barometer of innovation

Our report examines the role of patents in making innovative ‘green’ technologies into a reality as well as how the patent landscape can be used to identify opportunities for partnering, collaboration and investment.

We share our enthusiasm and admiration for commercially-focused innovation across a diverse range of technologies, from repurposing carbon dioxide to make protein-rich foods, to the multi-faceted approach to a circular plastics economy. We also discuss the tantalising prospect of AI-mediated renewable energy supply, and the harnessing of battery tech from the EV boom to drive energy efficiency in consumer devices. This report reflects our passion for technology solutions that tackle our shared global challenge. 

Download the Report

Forward-looking in the Future Mobility Space

The change in mobility practices is all made possible by technology innovations in electrification, connectivity and autonomy. The pace of change will likely only increase, particularly because of the developments in AI, communications, image processing, the Internet of Things (IoT) and developments in battery technologies. With these developing technologies, comes a change to the traditional division of roles in the mobility sector. It's being challenged today and could change dramatically in the future.

Data ownership and security

In this context, the issues surrounding data ownership and security are complex. Who owns the data that an autonomous car generates? It is estimated that the average connected car will produce four terabytes of data a day. Who is allowed to use it? To whom does it belong? Is the individual who owns a semi-autonomous car the owner of the data that it generates - as the vehicle is private property - or can, or should, the manufacturer have rights of access to this data? This in turn raises issues of personal data privacy.

There are also cyber security concerns. These are not just about hacked vehicles crashing but about data privacy in a world of increased ride-sharing and car-sharing, or the hacking of manufacturer-to-vehicle communications. As this Deloitte paper observes, “cyber risk poses perhaps the greatest threat to the future of mobility and data governance, privacy and protection will likely be of paramount importance.”

Patents and standards

Cars are developing more and more into computerised mobile platforms. The emerging generations of autonomous vehicle must be always connected and capable of communication and interoperability with its immediate environment. All these new functions require the car to be a part of the Internet of Things (IOT). This means being connected to the internet, OEM servers, surrounding automobiles and other road users.

Interoperability of communication devices requires that all communication partners use the same standard for communicating. These standards are devised by standard setting bodies, like ETSI (the European Telecommunications Standards Institute), that define the technology and agree on the specifics of such a standard.

Companies involved regularly protect their contribution to the standard by applying for patent protection, eventually obtaining a patent covering a certain aspect of the standardised technology, a so-called Standard Essential Patent (SEP).

These patents are essential to the extent that an implementer cannot provide the functionality that the standard promises without infringing the SEP. Since every market player that wants to implement the standard has to license the patent, the concept of FRAND patent licensing for SEPs has developed.  FRAND is the acronym for Fair, Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory, meaning that every party seeking a license has to be granted one at comparable terms. However, since there is no legally binding definition for FRAND, every company involved has a (more or less) diverging view of what actually is FRAND.

The ICT industry is familiar with these patents but the automobile industry only recently started to feel that there are players in the connectivity world that do not behave as was common in the automotive industry they are used to, when it comes to protecting their technology. So IP is at the heart of the future of mobility and both the technology and the IP landscape are continuously evolving. Future mobility is bringing many different players into a new environment. How each of these players respond will have massive ramifications.

Talk to our Future Mobility Specialists

Open pages of Forward Magazine

Mewburn Ellis

FORWARD magazine

In the third edition of Forward we speak to Ola Boström, VP for innovation and research at Swedish automotive technology provider Veoneer. We explore the role of trust in building the future of autonomous driving.

Mewburn Ellis Forward is a biannual publication that celebrates the best of innovation and exploration. Through its pages we hope to inform and entertain, but also to encourage discussion about the most compelling developments taking place in the scientific and entrepreneurial world. Along the way, we’ll engage with the IP challenges that international organisations face every day.