A new study has claimed that if take-up of electric vehicles is to be improved, strategic policy interventions will be necessary. The research was carried out by the Institute for Transport Studies (ITS) at the University of Leeds, and was commissioned by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. It claimed that better coordination and connectivity between vehicles and infrastructure would help to improve energy efficiency and could also help to make road transport faster and safer. However, it also noted that whilst the potential is substantial in terms of helping to make car travel greener and cheaper, more work is still required on the process. Research found that shared car ownership still needs more encouragement and that government policy could help. If the current administration were able to deliver open data protocols, support technology incubation and incentives to local mobility service companies - in addition to providing more resource to local authorities - then take-up could be improved. The report did acknowledge that energy demand and traffic could increase as a result. Driverless cars would leave the occupant free to use their travel time for other activities and it's possible that car travel in general could subsequently become more popular. It might therefore be necessary to manage demand in order to prevent unsustainable increases in the use of cars. Road user charging, low emission zoning and the regulation of empty running were all cited as possible solutions. The report also noted that regulations or innovative policies could be necessary in encouraging manufacturers to work on efficiency optimising features such as eco-routing, platoon or automated eco-driving. It will also be necessary to plan out low carbon, alternative fuel pumps and charging stations. LowCVP managing director Andy Eastlake commented on the research, saying: 'It's clear that there are significant potential benefits from the coming mobility revolution through connectivity and automation. 'However, in order to grasp the full environmental benefits of these technologies we need a strategic, coordinated policy response that will have to involve a wide range of stakeholders working in partnership.î