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UK’s £66 Billion Economic Boost Foreseen with CAM Technology, SMMT Study Reveals

A recent study by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), titled “Automated and Connected Mobility: The UK Economic and Market Opportunities,” indicates that the UK’s economy is poised to see substantial growth, with an expected annual increase of £66 billion by 2040. This growth is contingent on the successful implementation of Connected and Autonomous Mobility (CAM) technology in various commercial applications, including automated buses, taxis, shuttles, and even tractors, along with self-driving cars and logistics vehicles. 

CAM technology enables vehicles to operate autonomously, interacting with both other vehicles and the surrounding infrastructure. Beyond cementing the UK’s global leadership in this innovative field, the widespread adoption of CAM technology is projected to create approximately 342,000 new jobs by 2040, with a notable 12,250 of these jobs in the automobile manufacturing industry. 

The benefits of CAM extend to road safety, with the potential to avert 60,000 catastrophic collisions and save approximately 3,900 lives over the same period. This, in turn, could lead to lower insurance costs and less stressful travel. Furthermore, businesses are set to benefit from improved product movement and enhanced industrial operations. Additionally, CAM technology promises greater mobility for individuals with impairments. 

To date, the UK has already allocated substantial public and private investments exceeding £600 million for CAM testing since 2015. However, realizing the full potential of CAM technology necessitates a collaborative effort between the government and industry. The objective is to establish safe and responsible conditions for its deployment in passenger cars, services, and commercial and industrial vehicles. While the UK is well-equipped to integrate CAM technology into passenger cars, significant growth prospects exist in eight other markets. These markets can harness CAM technology to bolster efficiency and productivity in everyday transportation and business operations. 

Among these markets, the on-road logistics sector shows significant potential, with an anticipated annual revenue of £15.2 billion by 2040. This underscores the importance of incorporating CAM features into commercial heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and vans utilized for various purposes, ranging from long-distance haulage to last-mile home deliveries. Implementing CAM technology in on-road passenger services, including buses, taxis, and ride-hailing, is expected to yield an annual revenue of £3.7 billion. Likewise, off-road logistics, encompassing vehicles used in warehouses, ports, and airports, is estimated to be worth £2.3 billion per year by 2040, ranking as the second and third largest markets. 

Realizing the benefits of CAM technology necessitates prompt government action. This includes the enactment of necessary regulations and laws, with a specific emphasis on introducing new legislation related to self-driving cars during the remaining months of this Parliament. 

Efforts to eliminate obstacles to regulatory reform must go hand-in-hand with a comprehensive plan to encourage private sector investment and innovation-driven growth. Additionally, initiatives for upskilling and reskilling workers to equip them with the required software and digital skills are crucial. Public engagement through extensive education and communication campaigns is also pivotal in ensuring the successful adoption of CAM technology. 

 


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