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The self-driving vehicle market could be worth tens of billions of pounds in the coming years, as the UK Government seeks to encourage growth within the sector.

autonomous car

The full economic value of self-driving vehicles in the UK has been revealed, as Transport Minister Rachel Maclean has revealed that the connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) market could be worth £41.7 billion by 2035.

Addressing the CES technology conference today, Minister Maclean has unveiled a report, conducted by researchers at the Connected Places Catapult, Element Energy and Cambridge Econometrics. The report forecasts that in 2035, 40 per cent of new UK car sales could have self-driving capabilities, with a total market value of £41.7 billion.

The Department for Transport claims that this could in turn create nearly 40,000 skilled jobs in the CAV technology area, strengthening the UK economy and reinforcing this government’s commitment to building back greener and stronger.

“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, “said Transport Minister Rachel Maclean.

“We’re on the cusp of a driving revolution. Not only could this tech unlock vast opportunities for the UK economy and jobs market, it could significantly improve the safety and efficiency of how we travel over the coming decades.”

The UK Government says it has already invested £200 million into CAV research and development, helping British start-ups develop their tech for use both in the UK and internationally.

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 to make sure that the technology can be safely used on UK roads.

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.

Lord Grimstone, Minister for Investment at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, said: “Self-driving vehicles represent a huge economic opportunity for the UK, unlocking much-needed jobs and economic growth.

“Government is backing business to realise this – driving forward the future of the UK’s automotive and technology sectors and helping us build back better.”

“CAV technologies have the potential to revolutionise transport,” added Nicola Yates, CEO of Connected Places Catapult.

“Designed in the right way, a system of connected autonomous vehicles could make our transport network more accessible, safer, more efficient and better for the environment. Connected Places Catapult has been pleased to partner with stakeholders across government, industry and academia over several years to make sure that the UK is one of the best places in the world for CAV development. This new report, developed in partnership with Element Energy and Cambridge Econometrics, shines a light on the economic opportunities for a UK CAV industry.”

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