A report revealing the full economic value of self-driving vehicles in the UK has been released. It predicts connected and automated vehicles (CAV) will be worth £41.7 billion by 2035.
Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: “The investment in and development of CAVs could truly transform the way people and goods are transported, with innovation like this at the heart of our ambition to build back better.
“We’re on the cusp of a driving revolution. Not only could this tech unlock vast opportunities for the UK economy and jobs market, but it could significantly improve the safety and efficiency of how we travel over the coming decades.”
The report suggests that investment in CAVs could create nearly 40,000 jobs on British soil, cementing the UK as a world-leader in CAV technology.
The report forecasts that in 2035, 40% of new UK car sales could have self-driving capabilities.
The Government has already invested £200 million into CAV research and development (R&D), helping British start-ups develop their tech for use both in the UK and internationally.
Together with industry, they say that this investment has led to many successes.
UK start-ups that have received government R&D support, including Five and Oxbotica, have gone on to successfully raise tens of millions of dollars in private investment, competing internationally with some of the world’s largest self-driving vehicle companies.
In 2020, Oxbotica launched Project Endeavour, which will be running highly automated trials in Oxford, London and Birmingham. The project will demonstrate automated driving in a variety of urban and city environments and will develop models with local authorities and communities to help them prepare for the future launch of automated vehicle services.
The ambition to make the UK the best place in the world to deploy CAVs is also being realised through work to update UK law and regulations. In August 2020, government announced a consultation to enable the use of Automated Lane Keeping Systems – an early form of automation in vehicles – on UK roads as early as this year. The response to this consultation is set to be published in early 2021.