Autonomous Drive, Self-Driving Vehicle

UK Injects £150 Million into Self-Driving Transport Technologies

In a bid to position the United Kingdom at the forefront of the global self-driving technology race, the government has unveiled a substantial funding boost of up to £150 million allocated to Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM) until 2030. This announcement is part of the government’s extensive £4.5 billion investment strategy aimed at revitalising British manufacturing, fostering economic growth, and ensuring the nation remains an attractive destination for innovation and investment.

The substantial financial injection into CAM represents a pivotal milestone within the Advanced Manufacturing Plan, a comprehensive strategy outlining the government’s commitment to investing in the future of manufacturing and driving forward the development, deployment, and manufacturing of self-driving technologies, products, and services in the UK.

The funding, to be complemented by industry investment, emphasizes the pivotal role played by the UK’s Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) in solidifying the nation’s stature among global leaders in self-driving technology. Over the past few years, CCAV has facilitated approximately £600 million of joint investments with industry across more than 100 projects throughout the UK, laying the groundwork for pioneering advancements in self-driving capabilities.

Research underscores the significant economic benefits of CAM, estimating a potential £66 billion annual economic boost and the creation of 342,000 additional jobs by 2040. These staggering figures are contingent on strategic governmental interventions in policy, regulation, funding mechanisms to de-risk investments, skill enhancement initiatives, and effective public communication strategies.

The investment surge is poised to revolutionize transportation, promising safer, more convenient, and inclusive travel experiences while simultaneously fostering the growth of highly skilled employment opportunities and fortifying the UK’s economic landscape.

Aligned with the announcement made in the King’s Speech on November 7th, the government’s new Automated Vehicles (AV) Bill is set to establish one of the most comprehensive legal frameworks globally for self-driving vehicles. Emphasising safety and innovation, this legislation will form a crucial backbone supporting a broader CAM sector, encompassing logistics, mass transit, mining, agriculture, and defence industries beyond private vehicles and robo-taxis.

This ambitious program will strategically target high-impact economic and societal opportunities, ensuring the safety and security of these technologies across various sectors. It aims to leverage the UK’s existing competitive advantages while identifying avenues for targeted investments that could elevate the nation in the global value chain.

Moreover, CCAV is exploring the establishment of a Centre of Excellence for UK Connected and Automated Mobility, aimed at bolstering coordination efforts, enhancing capabilities, refining skills, and promoting public engagement. This centre will collaborate closely with government entities, focusing on facilitating SME access to financial resources, fostering international engagements, and promoting exports in this burgeoning technological domain.

 

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