Disruptive Technology & Road Transport – Event Review

The Disruptive Technology and Road Transport event took place last Wednesday, February 10, and was part of the Streets Ahead exhibition currently running at the New London Architecture.

The purpose of the event was to continue TfL’s engagement with the technology sector and road user groups, to consider how technology is introducing new challenges and opportunities for the way the road network functions. It was also a good chance to help shape our collective thinking on how to respond, and to identify the role that the tech sector can play in solving some of the challenges London faces.

The event was split into two halves, with speakers presenting to the audience in the first half before a group discussion across multiple tables, with each tackling a different topic.

The speakers at the event were as follows:

  • Chair’s Welcome: Ben Plowden (TfL)
  • Scene Setting: Isabel Dedring (Deputy Mayor for Transport)
  • The Future is Now: Greg Lindsay (Journalist, urbanist, futurist, and speaker.
  • Traffic Management in the Digital Age: Alan Bristow and Helen Chapman (TfL)
Isabel Dedring
Isabel Dedring, the Deputy Mayor for Transport, introduces the major themes of the afternoon in the opening presentation

Following the presentations, three 30 minute discussions were led by a representative from TfL on each table , with the opportunity to move between tables and join a new discussion when 30 minutes was up.

The discussion topics for each table were flexible, with suggested points to cover outlined in advance, and there were some great discussions across all tables. It was fantastic to see this coming together of so many people doing important work in this area from a range of companies, and there was plenty for the TfL representatives on each table to take away with them at the end of the session.

The headline discussion topics for each table were as follows:

  • Table 1. Techs and the City: what new ways of working new delivery models should transport and tech sectors adopt in London? How can we strengthen the partnership between the sectors?
  • Table 2. Data sharing and aggregation – what more should and could be done?
  • Table 3. Check Before Your Travel: how can we work together to grow the market for road information and data services.
  • Table 4. Regulatory frameworks – current effects and priorities for review.
  • Table 5. Autonomous vehicles – what does London need to do to make this a reality?
  • Table 6 Tech and the professional road user – how will tech change the way the freight industry operates?
  • Table 7 Kick out the Jams – how can London help the tech sector solve future congestion?
Discussion underway across 7 tables, as our attendees looked at how technology can help to shape the future of transport in London.

The Streets Ahead exhibition runs until Wednesday February 24 at NLA, and offers a great insight into many of the themes discussed at this event, showcasing a range of proposals that could be implemented in London, such as driverless cars.

Look out here for news of more upcoming events that we’ll be involved with, as we continue to engage with the tech and developer community to shape the future of transport in London. If you were at the event, please feel free to leave us a comment below letting us know your thoughts.


  1. There were some really interesting discussions that took place that day. It was great to get an insight into how TFL and other companies were interacting and the kind of problems that London and TFL were facing. I think the opportunity for TFL to integrate with the tech sector could lead to some really interesting and exciting collaborations. Looking forward to attending other events in the future if the opportunity comes along.

    Thanks for the invite!

  2. It’s great to hear that you got a lot out of the event Matt, and it was definitely beneficial us too. For TfL to chair discussions with so many knowledgable people in the room can only be a good thing for us, and we certainly intend to continue to engage as much as possible with the tech sector. We look forward to seeing you at more of these events in the near future.

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