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CEG8431 : Technologies for Future Mobility

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Phil Blythe
  • Lecturer: Professor Colin Herron, Dr Simon Lambert
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


This module aims to examine what forms mobility will take in the near future, what scenarios might influence the forms of that mobility, and what technologies will underpin those future transportation networks. The module aims:
•       To introduce the current contexts influencing the shape of current and future mobility, including how key drivers such as such as the rise of rapid urbanisation, digital technology, the need for rapid decarbonisation and our changing and aging population, influence transport policy;
•       To present a variety of scenarios and visons of the future, based on both global projections, and UK government ‘foresight’ documents;
•       To discuss how decarbonisation of transport may be achieved through a variety of means, for example switching from fossil fuel dependence through electric, hydrogen and other low-carbon and net-zero fuels.
• To consider the wider challenges of decarbonisation supported by a transition to more active modes (e.g. walking and cycling) of travel, and mass public transportation;
•       To highlight how decarbonisation could be assisted through the use of transit-oriented development and the adoption of Mobility as a Service;
•       To introduce what impacts future autonomous vehicles, driven by machine ‘intelligence’, may have on out transport networks, both in the near-term, where they may be sharing road space with more conventional counterparts, and in the longer term, where they may be the only vehicles in operation;
•       To describe the core sensors, communications and data processing technologies that are used in connected and autonomous vehicles, complimentary to the introductory material in module CEG8422: Intelligent Transport Systems;
•       To present human and ethical factors that need to be considered in an autonomous future;
•       To outline the challenges, and possible solutions to those challenges, faced by non-road modes: What will our rail networks look like in the future? Is national and international aviation viable in a low carbon world?
•       To explore how new opportunities may arise from hitherto unknown or unavailable technologies, and how these may be harnessed for the good of society.

Note that the module includes contributions from external speakers from industry, therefore the precise structure and format of lectures may vary from year-to-year, based on speaker availability.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module covers the following topics:
•       Introduction to future challenges: Maintaining and enhancing mobility under the need for decarbonisation
•       Future scenarios: How they shape transportation thinking and policies?
•       Introduction to Electromobility and Low Carbon Vehicles: Electric, Hybrids, Hydrogen and Others
•       Components of an Electric Vehicle: Battery technology, Motor and drive technology
•       Charging infrastructure for electric vehicles
•       Economic incentives and the business cases for electromobility
•       Electromobility and the environment: Emissions, Noise and Life Cycle Assessment
•       Hydrogen and other low-carbon alternative fuels
•       Case studies of electromobility
•       Introduction to cooperative and autonomous vehicles
•       Technological building blocks of autonomy: Sensors and communication
•       Introducing machine intelligence and machine learning to achieve autonomy (including workshop and demonstration)
•       Technical and ethical challenges with autonomy: Data processing requirements, Edge cases, Training issues
•       Case studies of autonomy
•       Building smart and liveable cities: Links to intelligent and cooperative mobility
•       Mobility as a Service, eHubs and Shared Mobility
•       Active modes: Walking and Cycling
•       Beyond roads: Future maritime transportation (inland, littoral and maritime)
•       Beyond roads: Future aviation (local, national and international aviation)
•       Beyond roads: Future rail (light, heavy, passenger and freight)
•       Thinking ‘out-of-the-box’ – exotic and innovative transport solutions

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:0010:00Lectures. Synchronous online or Asynchronous online depending on requirement
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials101:0010:00Lectures. Present in Person.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture21:002:00Online via Canvas - Module introduction and recap. Familiarisation with topics/reading list. PiP
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Individual Essay (50%)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Individual driving simulator data analysis (50%)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion16:156:15Revision for Exam.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical10:450:45PiP - Driving simulator lab practical - 10 groups max 4 per group.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops11:001:00PiP - Driving simulator workshop in groups to collate and discuss driving simulator data.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops11:001:00Final discussion and debate on the future of transport, based on the outcomes of the module. PiP
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00Online Q&A drop in sessions with the lecturing team, for students to ask questions and discuss PiP
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study135:0035:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk10:300:30Introduction to the driving simulator practical session and safety briefing. Present-in-Person.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk10:300:30Week 1 wrap-up and feedback session. Present-in-Person.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Introduction to the module and the lecturing staff Present-in-Person.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Formal lectures are used to provide a high-level overview of trends and scenarios, as well as introducing core concepts in decarbonisation, electromobility and possible future technologies. Learning on autonomous vehicles, the algorithms behind them, and issues regarding safety and operation will be conveyed through interactive workshop sessions, video demonstration and through the use of the driving simulator in a lab-based scenario. Discussion sessions will allow students to discuss and debate the directions they think technology and mobility of the future will progress in. The use of guest speakers from industry provides direct industrial experience and working practice, as well as added variety of presentation style and material, to the students.

Alternatives will be offered to students unable to be present-in-person due to the prevailing C-19 circumstances. Student’s should consult their individual timetable for up-to-date delivery information. If we still have to socially distance, present in person sessions will be delivered online synchronous and non-synchronous.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M100written report on outputs of thematic workshops
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The written report will test students understanding of the concepts of automated driving, the use of simulation in studying new technologies and their ability to apply data processing and statistical techniques to that data – skills that are required by industry.

Reading Lists