By 2040, connected and automated (CAM) technology could boost our economy by as much as £66 billion annually.
According to a new report published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), CAM technology could open the door to a wealth of socio-economic benefits and market opportunities, and could position the UK as a global leader in next-gen tech.
The term “CAM” is used to refer to self-driving vehicles, equipped with tech that enables them to drive without human intervention.
These vehicles can connect with each other on the road. allowing for a safe journey.
CAM tech can be adopted across a wide range of commercial applications, from logistics vehicles to automated buses, shuttles and even tractors.
The rollout of this tech would create some 342,000 jobs from now to 2040, with 12,250 of these being in automotive manufacturing.
The surge in CAM vehicles would mean as many as 3,900 lives could be saved and 60,000 serious accidents prevented in this same time period.
What’s more, the British public could see lower insurance premiums, not to mention a less stressful travelling experience. Those with disabilities could also benefit from greater travel freedom as a result.
On the business front, companies may benefit from the streamlined transportation of goods and more efficient industrial processes.
Adrian Hallmark, Automotive Council UK Joint Chair and Bentley Motors Ltd CEO, said: “Whether moving people or goods via highly automated cars, buses, trucks, construction machinery or material handling equipment, the deployment of CAM represents a once-in-a-generation economic, societal and environmental opportunity for the UK.
“It has the potential to boost the whole transport sector, creating new supply chains, manufacturing and deployment opportunities.
“It could also help transform road safety, enable accessible transport, and deliver reduced energy consumption for environmental benefit through smoother, more efficient driving.”
The report from SMMT reveals that on-road logistics has the potential to be the biggest market for CAM tech, with its implementation in commercial HGVs and vans yielding an estimated annual revenue of £15.2 billion by 2040.
Second to on-road logistics is on-road passenger services, such as buses, taxis and ride-hailing, which could see an annual revenue of around £3.7 billion.
Off-road logistics, including vehicles used in warehouses, ports and airports, has the potential to be the third largest market, with £2.3 billion in annual revenue predicted.
On the subject, Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “While fully automated road journeys are still some way off, advances in connected and automated mobility technology means they’re within our future – 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, ensuring that consumers can reap the life-saving and cost-saving benefits.”