As part of a wider £4.5bn (US$5.7m) investment to help grow British manufacturing to boost economic growth, the UK government will provide £150m (US$189m) of funding to the Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM) sector, to 2030.
The funding package forms a part of the Advanced Manufacturing Plan, which sets out government’s plans for investing in the future of manufacturing, opening markets, and removing obstacles for business. The money being provided to support CAM will be matched by industry and enable the UK’s Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) to cement the UK’s place among world leaders for designing, developing, deploying, and manufacturing self-driving technologies, products, and services.
CCAV is working to create an early commercial market and secure first mover advantage in the deployment of self-driving vehicles and services, building on around £600 million of joint investment with industry in over 100 projects across the UK since 2015.
The latest research suggests the economic benefits of CAM for the UK could be £66 billion per year and 342,000 additional jobs by 2040 if government intervenes appropriately in policy, regulation, funding (de-risking globally mobile investment), skills, and public communication.
The government believes the funding will boost the UK’s development and implementation of CAM, transforming how UK citizens get around, making journeys safer, more convenient, and more accessible while also creating highly skilled jobs and helping to grow the economy.
As announced in the King’s Speech on Tuesday 7 November, the new Automated Vehicles (AV) Bill aims to deliver one of the most comprehensive legal frameworks of its kind, anywhere in the world, for self-driving vehicles with safety and innovation at its core.
This funding, complemented by enabling legislation, is crucial for a UK CAM sector that is broader than privately owned vehicles and robotaxis, and includes the logistics, mass transit, mining, agriculture, and defence sectors, the government believes.
It says its programme will focus on the highest potential economic and societal impact opportunities for the UK in the early commercialisation of these technologies, whilst also ensuring these are safe and secure for all. It will target market segments and capabilities for which the UK currently has comparative and/or competitive advantage, or where targeted investment could achieve such advantage in the global value chain.
CCAV will also consider the need for a Centre of Excellence for UK Connected and Automated Mobility to work with departments and organisations, focussing on coordination challenges and to strengthen the capabilities, skills, and public engagement. The Centre will work closely with Government to support SME access to finance, international engagement, and exports.