According to a new report from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders
(SMMT), the UK is ‘poised to benefit from a £66 billion annual economic uplift by 2040’. The report — Connected and automated mobility: the UK economic and market opportunities
— sets out the extensive socio-economic benefits for Britain if connected and automated mobility (CAM) technology is adopted in a range of commercial applications, from self-driving cars and logistics vehicles to automated buses, taxis, and shuttles — and even tractors.
The SMMT said: “CAM tech enables vehicles to drive without human intervention while connecting with each other and surrounding infrastructure. Boosting roll-out would not only cement the UK’s status as a global leader in this next-gen tech but also create some 342,000 additional jobs throughout the economy from now to 2040, with 12,250 in automotive manufacturing. Businesses could benefit from more efficient movement of goods and industrial processes.
“With a significant public-private investment of more than £600 million already committed to CAM testing since 2015, Government and industry must now create the conditions to safely and responsibly deploy the technology across passenger cars, services, and commercial and industrial vehicles; and while Britain is already well placed to implement CAM technology into passenger cars, significant new opportunities for growth exist in eight other markets.”
The report — summarising a study by KPMG and funded by Innovate UK, with support from the Automotive Council, and Zenzic (this was created by the Government and industry to ‘champion’ the UK’s CAM ecosystem) — reveals that among these markets, on-road logistics has the potential to be the largest, with annual revenue of £15.2 billion by 2040 from CAM tech in commercial HGVs and vans used in everything from long distance haulage to last mile home deliveries.
CAM tech in on-road passenger services (such as buses, taxis and ride-hailing), and off-road logistics (including vehicles used in warehouses, ports and airports), rank as the second- and third-largest markets respectively. Other opportunities could also be found in the mining and agricultural sectors.
Mike Hawes, the SMMT’s chief executive, concluded: “While fully automated road journeys are still some way off, advances in connected and automated mobility technology means they are within our future and presenting a significant opportunity to revolutionise transport in the UK. Government must work with all stakeholders to implement the necessary framework needed to deliver this exciting revolution swiftly and effectively. Failing to do so risks leaving the UK in the slow lane, jeopardising our competitiveness, and impeding growth and job creation.”