The development of connected and autonomous vehicles will deliver a huge jobs boost to the UK and save thousands of lives, according to new research commissioned by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The analysis, carried out by KPMG, found that this new generation of vehicles will add £51 billion to the UK economy and cut serious road traffic accidents by more than 25,000 a year by 2030.
The report also forecasts that the UK will be a global leader in the production of these new vehicles. Having not been a signatory to the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic several decades ago, the UK has an advantage over other European countries because driverless car pilots can take place on public roads without the need for primary legislation.
Trials have already been launched in Bristol, Coventry, Milton Keynes and Greenwich, and the industry was given a boost in the recent Budget when Chancellor George Osborne announced a further £100 million of funding for research and development into intelligent mobility – an investment that will be matched by the car industry.
Commenting on the study, Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said: Connected and autonomous cars will transform our roads and the way our society functions for generations to come, dramatically reducing accidents and helping to deliver more than £50 billion to our economy. The KPMG report clearly shows the UK automotive industry is leading the way in developing the cars of the future and that it will act as a catalyst for wider economic benefits that will create more than 300,000 jobs by 2030. The UK must grasp the opportunities ahead and ensure it is continually at the forefront of pushing through these next breakthrough technologies.
“Driverless cars are a fabulous opportunity for the UK. The Government needs to move quickly to put the necessary legal framework in place to support this new generation of vehicles, the industries affected by them and the consumers adopting them. We’re enjoying being at the heart of the driverless cars testing here in Bristol, but there’s a long journey ahead before we have laws in place and public confidence on our side.”
Simon Spooner, Partner