Report: ‘orderly’ Brexit essential for UK autonomous vehicles industry to thrive
Written by: Philip Mason | Published:

No deal Brexit must be avoided for the UK to take advantage of its burgeoning position as a world leader in connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV), according to a document by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

The report – which is co-authored by market research company Frost & Sullivan – suggests that a “£62 billion boost” for the UK economy is “up for grabs” by the year 2030, with £500 million having already been invested in CAV technology on the part of government and industry. This will be contingent however on an “orderly” departure from the European Union, with no deal resulting in “lasting damage to the UK’s reputation as a politically stable destination for inward investment.”

Speaking of the report’s findings, SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “A transport revolution stands before us as we move to self-driving cars, and the UK is in pole position in this £62 billion race. Government and industry have already laid the foundations, and the opportunities are dramatic – new jobs, economic growth and improvements across society.”

He continued: “Brexit has [however] undermined our global reputation for political stability, and it continues to devour valuable time and investment. We need the deadlock broken, with ‘no deal’ categorically ruled out, and a future relationship agreed that reflects the integrated nature of our industry and delivers frictionless trade.”

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As well as an orderly exit from the EU, the report also recommends the imminent updating of traffic laws, increasing public/private partnership, and – naturally – the improvement of 4G coverage across all road networks.

Discussing this, Sarwant Singh, senior partner and head of mobility, Frost & Sullivan, said: “The UK already has the essential building blocks to spearhead CAV deployment over the next decade – forward thinking legislation, advanced technology infrastructure, a highly skilled labour force, and a tech savvy customer base. However, it will require sustained and coordinated efforts by all key stakeholders, especially the government, to realise the significant annual economic benefits forecast for the UK from CAV deployment by 2030.”

‘Connected and Autonomous Vehicles: Winning the Global Race to Market’ is published this week.

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