Something gained, something lost
Automated transport technology should deliver big gains
While many may not like the idea, automated technology within our transport systems is an inevitable destination.
A new report from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) concludes it will in turn, deliver a £66bn boost to the economy by 2040
Connected and automated mobility (CAM) technology developed in the UK is set to deliver a £66bn boost to the economy by 2040, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The new report, focusing on connected and automated mobility (CAM) technology, concludes it has the potential to deliver plenty of positives. For a start it could help save 3,900 lives and prevent 60,000 serious accidents. At the same time it estimates providing 342,000 additional jobs, with 12,250 directly in automotive manufacturing by 2040.
On top of this, the British public stand to benefit from lower insurance premiums, less stressful commutes and greater freedom for those with restricted mobility. Fleets and businesses could also move goods and perform industrial processes more efficiently.
Human hands free
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, says “fully automated road journeys are still some way off”. However, he adds that “connected and automated mobility technology means they’re within our future”. It will undoubtedly revolutionise transport in the UK.
“Government must work with all stakeholders to implement the necessary framework needed to deliver this exciting revolution swiftly and effectively, ensuring that consumers can reap the lifesaving and cost saving benefits. Failing to do so risks leaving the UK in the slow lane, jeopardising our competitiveness and impeding growth and job creation.”
CAM tech enables vehicles to drive without human intervention while connecting with each other and surrounding infrastructure.
While Britain is already well placed to implement CAM technology into passenger cars, significant new opportunities for growth exist in eight other markets. CAM tech has the ability to deliver efficiency and productivity gains in everyday transport and business activities.
On-road logistics has the potential to be the largest market, with annual revenue of £15.2 billion by 2040 from rolling out CAM tech in the sector. Enabling these features in commercial HGVs and vans used in everything from long distance haulage to last mile home deliveries will be a big part of it.
Implementing CAM tech in on-road passenger services is probably the second bigest area or change. Buses, taxis and ride-hailing are likely to make a huge difference. Then you have a slightly smaller section concerned with off-road logistics, including vehicles used in warehouses, ports and airports.
As a start, some of the earliest deployment opportunities could also be found in the mining and agricultural sectors. Potential dangers and interaction in public areas are minimal and will provide a valuable testing bed for the technology.
However, with the positives, there are always negatives. Greater automation will mean some areas of work will decline and involve job losses. As with AI, automated machinery will reduce the direct human involvement in everyday logistics, from drivers to driver trainers. But this is still some way off.