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Future Automotive Technologies To Boost UK Economy By £51 Billion

By raccars Published

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The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has released data suggesting that automotive technologies of the future could bring a massive boost to the UK economy in the form of up to 320,000 new jobs by 2030.

The SMMT's forecast report, 'Connected and Autonomous Vehicles: The UK Economic Opportunity' and its conference, SMMT Connected, is the first to apply comprehensive analysis to the economic effects of upcoming automotive trends in the form of driverless cars to the UK economy. The research suggests that technology, such as driverless cars and in car connectivity, could not only benefit the UK economically but also improve road safety. Up to 25,000 accidents every year could be avoided if human error is taken out of the equation.

The biggest growth will be around the technology which allows cars to communicate with each other and the infrastructure around them. Furthermore, the UK is leading the field in the development of new automotive technologies.

The SMMT's Connected event will see major manufacturers showcasing their own car connectivity programmes, which will include smartphone apps for remote communication with vehicles, self parking systems, crash avoidance technology, completely autonomous cars and new ways of connecting cars to the surrounding environment. Representatives from firms, such as Bosch, Ford, Nissan, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and Volvo, will debate the benefits and drawbacks of autonomous driving to society.

The Government has invested £19 million into a programme to test driverless cars on UK roads and £100 million into autonomous driving research, as part of its commitment to keep the UK at the forefront of the automotive industry. The rest of Europe has an extra hurdle of legislation to overcome before it can allow driverless car testing to take place, in the form of the Vienna Convention. The UK did not ratify the same treaty and had no need to make legislative changes before allowing pilot free vehicle testing on public roads.

This means the UK is about two years ahead of the rest of Europe, with autonomous vehicle trials already taking place in four cities. Recently Chancellor George Osborne announced a further £200 million of Government funding for driverless car technology research, development and testing.

The SMMT believes that the benefits of autonomous driving technologies could apply not only to car manufacturers and parts suppliers in the UK, but could boost productivity, employment and trade across the whole economy.

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