Connected and autonomous vehicle tech could create 40,000 new jobs, says report
New research has found that investment in connected and autonomous vehicle technologies could see nearly 40,000 skilled jobs created in the UK by 2035, as part of a market that is forecast to be worth £41.7 billion.
The findings, from a report by researchers at the Connected Places Catapult, Element Energy and Cambridge Econometrics, were unveiled by UK Transport Minister Rachel Maclean in an address to the CES technology conference.
“We’re on the cusp of a driving revolution,” said Maclean. “Not only could this tech unlock vast opportunities for the UK economy and jobs market, it could significantly improve the safety and efficiency of how we travel over the coming decades.”
Researchers estimate that the UK market for connected and autonomous vehicles (specifically, for road vehicles with connected and autonomous technologies) could be worth £41.7 billion in 2035, capturing 6.4% of a £650 billion global market. This UK market size represents a 42% increase on a similar market forecast from 2017.
As firms increase production of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) and related technologies, their labour requirements will increase and new (direct) jobs will be created. In addition, an increase in output and demand for labour in the supply chains for these technologies will lead to an increase in indirect jobs, say the authors.
The researchers estimate that UK jobs in the manufacture and assembly of connected and autonomous vehicles could reach 49,000 in 2035. This compares to a figure of around 168,000 people who are currently employed in motor vehicle manufacturing in the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics.
By 2035, the research estimates, there could be 23,400 direct UK jobs in the production of connected and autonomous vehicle technologies, with a further 14,600 jobs created in the supply chain for these technologies.
While the report notes that jobs in the manufacture and assembly of connected and autonomous vehicles would effectively replace jobs in the manufacture of non-CAVs, jobs relating to the production of CAV technologies would not replace existing jobs, as they involve the manufacture of additional components compared to those on current vehicles.
In 2035, predict the authors, 80% of the UK jobs relating to connected and autonomous vehicle technology production will be in software-related industries. The remaining 20% would be in the production of connected and autonomous vehicle hardware, such as sensors.
The authors also expect over 90% of these software jobs and over 80% of the hardware jobs to be in professional, technical and skilled trade occupations.
“Self-driving vehicles represent a huge economic opportunity for the UK, unlocking much-needed jobs and economic growth,” said Investment Minister Lord Grimstone.