The US, the UK and the Future of Transportation

25 September 2020 #Uncategorised

From the robust supply chains of the Southeast and the deep OEM clusters of the Midwest, to the shiny self-driving and electrified technologies blooming out of the

West Coast, the US has kept its momentum in the world of automotive and only continues to charge ahead.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began in the US in March 2020, the automotive industry was turned on its head – major manufacturers shut their doors and mobility start-ups stayed out of news headlines in order to re-strategize survival.

However, as the uncertainties of the first few months in the US wane, a new energy has begun to surface in the States. EV companies like Tesla, Rivian, Nikola and Lucid have shot fiercely onto the scene to ensure that our cleaner skies continue once the public takes back to the streets.


CAV start-ups like Nuro have had to rethink the problems they’re solving and interest in grocery and medication delivery has shifted their driverless priorities. Major Corporations have become more serious in partnering with small mobility companies and tech giants like Amazon are flexing their market interest through major investments in companies like Zoox. All the while, the Detroit Three also strive to maintain pace in the automobility race by linking up with complimentary players around the globe.

On top of the consolidation of the US automobility market, there is a new and bold player joining more conversations – cities and transit agencies. With public transportation ridership hitting an all-time low and conversations around the curb and charging infrastructure reaching new heights, the future of transportation in the US cannot succeed without the influence and support of forward-thinking cities across the country.

Many of the conversations around a cleaner and greener future are stemming out of the West Coast. California has a lofty goal of decreasing emissions by 40% by 2030 and is now requiring that every new truck must be zero-emission by 2045. Though much of this is spurred by a population of active and environmentally-conscious ‘techies’, the city of LA is also motivated by the 2028 Olympics.

With wildfires devastating the coastline and powerful conversations surfacing on systemic racism and injustice in our communities, it is now more critical than ever to think about the problems of our cities and states and how the future of our transportation can take on the challenge of solving them.

As the worlds of automotive, mobility and smart cities blend closer and closer together in order to meet this common goal of safer and cleaner transportation, DIT in Los Angeles has been working to develop new opportunities for UK expertise to enter the market. Our West Coast Automotive and Technology teams have paired up to host a month-long virtual mission focusing on the Future of Transportation that will highlight the UK as a leader in electrified and connected technologies and develop important conversations in the lead up to COP26.

This mission will aim to bring together the UK’s best and brightest in automotive, mobility and smart city innovation and prepare them to enter the US with a strategic boldness that helps advance our cities’ climate and transportation goals. The mission will run from November 5th to 20th and include virtual market and brand trainings, the opportunity to pitch to the Bay Area’s auto-tech community, a variety of 1:1 matchmaking and meeting opportunities, and clear company promotion through the UK Govt at CoMotion LA – LA’s biggest transportation/mobility conference. These activities are supported by both SMMT and Zenzic.

Applications are open and will be accepted until Oct 5th. Please apply here: https://www.events.great.gov.uk/ehome/200211791

Though the US remains a competitive player in the ever-changing automotive ecosystem, the market is ripe for UK innovation and thought leadership. DIT’s US Automotive team is keen to continue facilitating more critical conversations around the future of transportation and we look forward to further promoting UK expertise in automotive, mobility and smart city technologies.

Rebecca Saletta
Vice Consul, Head of Automotive – West Coast, USA

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