Emerging motoring technologies and the challenges for Emergency Services and road users

We have seen a significant step-up in the number of zero-emission (electric) vehicles taking to our roads. The move to zero emission vehicles, with no new petrol/diesel engine vehicles being sold in the UK from 2030, affects us all – businesses, the emergency services and wider public.

Often for businesses and consumers the focus of electric vehicles is solely around the range, and manufacturers claims around how far a vehicle can travel in the ‘real world’. For emergency responders the demands on the vehicle’s power are increased by the systems needed to operate that vehicle.

However, just getting the right vehicle and the right infrastructure is only part of the equation. Putting in place the right vehicles, the right infrastructure, the right connectivity, the right training and operational tactics are key to a successful and safe transition to zero-emission vehicles. A transition that helps our valued emergency services to continue to keep us safe and well.

For the wider public, how do they keep up with the advancements in roadside and vehicle technology? How will they be trained to adapt and are they able to absorb all of the information and choices safely and correctly? Is ‘battery life’ anxiety an additional cognitive stress to overcome whilst driving and will it change driver behaviours?

Frances Senior, Behavioural Change Associate, Intelligent Transport Services, WSP

Frances Senior has 31 years of Public Service, with the last 28 of those being within Policing, mostly within the Forensic Science arena investigating, managing and co-ordinating major and serious crime scenes as well as being a major disaster manager and victim identification specialist.

Prior to joining WSP, Frances was the Head of the Forensic Collision Investigation Network (FCIN) covering the 43 Police Forces of England and Wales, where she was responsible for raising standards of the forensic investigations of fatal and serious injury RTCs, defining the educational and qualification requirements of investigators and leading a remote team of over 25 experts.

Frances has strong links with Cranfield University where she established a national FCI test centre, National Highways, the DfT, the HSE and the RAC Foundation where she was a member of the board working on the business case for a multi-disciplinary Road Collision Investigation Branch.