Forty per cent of UK new car sales could have self-driving capabilities by 2035, with a total market value of £41.7 billion, according to a new report by Connected Places Catapult, Element Energy and Cambridge Econometrics.
This market growth has the potential to create nearly 40,000 skilled jobs in the connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) technology area.
The Government wants to make the UK the best place in the world to deploy CAVs and has invested £200 million in CAV research and development (R&D), helping British start-ups develop their tech for use both in the UK and internationally.
Several government-backed CAV trials have also demonstrated capabilities in recent years, such as the Streetwise project in London in 2019, which saw self-driving vehicles carrying commuters to and from work.
Work is ongoing to update UK law and regulations to make sure that the technology can be safely used on UK roads.
In August 2020, the 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 shortly.
Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: "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.
"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."