An interview featured in IEMA with Karla Jakeman tells how her interest in the past informs her determination to shape a sustainable future for transport and mobility.
Upon her discovery of her relation to the Queen, Jakeman began to consider what her descendants will think about her. Acting as the innovation lead for connected transport and mobility at InnovateUK, her aim is to drive forward technology and innovation to meet the UK’s social and environmental challenges.
Jakeman is in charge of looking after everything from active travel to rural transport, highways, freight, the geospatial aspects of transport and the data digital aspects of this. Whilst sharing some of the frustrations of her role, she shared her gratitude to be able to oversee various innovative technologies breaking into the industry. Neil Herron is the CEO of Grid Smarter Cities, a company that is providing this innovative technology. Using technology and smart solutions to connect communities with transport, parking, goods and services through kerb space, Grid’s product ‘Kerb’ allows freight and commercial operators to book kerb space, rather than circling around and creating congestion. It also allows Local Authorities to understand and effectively manage the “mountains of data”Jakeman recognises as an issue.
Jakeman hopes to leave a legacy of being someone who contributed to the shift to sustainable transport and to changing thought and behaviour patterns in terms of travel and thoughts around it. She describes the moments when projects such as Grid’s start to succeed, they also contribute to her sense of optimism about the ability to change for the better, further allowing her to leave a more sustainable future for her descendants.
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