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Connected cars to deliver huge UK jobs boost

By Kyle Linsay
Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 09:00

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Connected and autonomous cars to create 320,000 UK jobs and save thousands of lives

New research commissioned by SMMT has found the development of connected and autonomous vehicles will help generate 320,000 jobs in the UK, delivering huge benefits to society and the economy.

In the first ever comprehensive analysis of the UK opportunities provided by this new technology, KPMG has found that these new vehicles will deliver a £51 billion boost to the UK economy and reduce serious road traffic accidents by more than 25,000 a year by 2030.

Crucially, it also forecasts the UK will be a global leader in the production of this next generation of vehicles.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “The KPMG report clearly shows the UK automotive industry is leading the way in developing the cars of the future and that it will act as a catalyst for wider economic benefits that will create more than 300,000 jobs by 2030. The UK must grasp the opportunities ahead and ensure it is continually at the forefront of pushing through these next breakthrough technologies.”

The figures will be announced today at SMMTConnected, the first ever industry-wide event in Britain to explore the opportunities and challenges ahead and demonstrate how the UK automotive sector is already developing the cars of the future.

Leading experts from BMW, Bosch, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and Volvo will champion their efforts to develop tomorrow’s intelligent vehicles and discuss how society as a whole can benefit from this latest technology.

Transport Minister Robert Goodwill MP and Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Digital Economy, will each provide keynote speeches at the event, which will be attended by 20 vehicle manufacturers from across the UK and more than 300 representatives from insurance providers, telecoms, academics, local government and software providers.

The UK has a unique opportunity to lead the way in developing the connected and driverless cars of tomorrow: it has a two-year head-start on other European countries, not having ratified the Vienna convention some decades ago. This means on-road driverless car pilots can take place without the need for primary legislation.

Driverless car trials have already started in four British cities this year, and Chancellor George Osborne last week also announced a further £200 million government and industry investment into driverless research, development and demonstration in the UK.

John Leech, Head of automotive at KPMG in the UK, said: “Our study has established that the UK is well-positioned to capitalise on the development and production of connected and autonomous cars. Not only will these developments help vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers, but they will bolster jobs, trade and productivity across the economy. Connected and autonomous vehicles will promote social inclusion, reduce pollution and save lives. This represents an important opportunity for the economy but one that requires continued focus and commitment from government and business.”

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