Global market for connected and autonomous vehicle technologies to hit £970bn in 2035

Out-Law News | 11 Sep 2017 | 3:18 pm | 2 min. read

The global market for connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) and associated CAV technologies installed in those vehicles could hit £970 billion by 2035, according to a study commissioned by the UK government.

The UK share of that market could be worth between £30.7bn and £57.2bn, according to the market forecast for CAV (45-page/ 5.48MB PDF), produced for the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV). The higher of the two figures is possible if the UK becomes a world leader in CAV technologies, it said.

CCAV is a special unit set up by the UK government to support the development of driverless cars testing and commercialisation in the UK. CCAV is a joint policy unit of the Department for Transport and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

According to the report, nearly 10,000 new jobs will be created relating to the production of CAV technologies, with the majority of those roles predicted to be in "software-related industries".

"Developing an understanding of the value of this technology and the global opportunity that the UK is competing for a share of is essential for CCAV, in order to build a business case for UK government support of the sector, including many of the investments CCAV is sponsoring into research, development, demonstration and deployment" the report said.

"Early development and adoption of these technologies is likely to bring considerable economic benefits to the UK and position it as a market leader. Consequently, the UK would be well-placed to export these new transport solutions to the rest of the world, and exploit the considerable market for intelligent mobility: the smarter, greener and more efficient movement of goods and people," it said.

The release of the report by CCAV came as the UK government announced that it was establishing a new cluster for CAV technologies in the UK along "the M40 corridor between Coventry and London".

The move, which will benefit from funding from both the government and industry, is aimed at bringing together existing driverless cars testing facilities under the one brand, 'MERIDIAN'. The government said that there was "broad industry support" for the move.

The government said: "With bases at the Coventry and Stratford branches of the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), MERIDIAN will bring together the UK’s existing CAV testing centres to create a concentrated cluster of testing facilities that covers all testing requirements for CAV technology."

It said that the new hub has "a unique opportunity" to focus on four areas relevant to the development of CAVs: advanced CAV testing and development, connected environments, data and cybersecurity, and new mobility services.

The UK's climate change and industry minister Claire Perry said: "At the heart of our Industrial Strategy is a commitment to delivering world class science, research and innovation. The MERIDIAN co-ordination hub embodies this ambition, creating a globally recognisable brand that will bring the automotive sector, academia and government together behind a common set of strategic goals."

"Through government investment and collaboration with industry in this area we will ensure that the UK becomes one of the global ‘go to’ destinations for the development of this technology," she said.

Connected and autonomous vehicles expert Ben Gardner of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said: "The announcement is the latest in a series of initiatives which are intended to make the UK a go to destination for the development, testing and future commercialisation of CAV technology. The CAV market is a lucrative one and providing access to sophisticated closed testing environments and a light touch code of practice for real world trials makes the UK an attractive place for global automotive and technology businesses to develop their CAV offering."

"It is important that the UK remains competitive as other destinations announce their commitment to CAVs and this latest announcement helps to further demonstrate the UK government’s commitment to ensuring that the UK’s offering is one of the best available options," he said.