Last reviewed 20 January 2021

The full economic value of self-driving vehicles in the UK has been revealed, as the Department for Transport (DfT) has released a report showing that the connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) market could be worth £41.7 billion by 2035.

Speaking at a conference, Transport Minister Rachel Maclean introduced the report, conducted by researchers at the Connected Places Catapult, Element Energy and Cambridge Econometrics.

Connected Places Catapult: Market Forecast for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles is available at assets.publishing.service.gov.uk.

The study reviewed the potential value of the domestic and global markets for CAVs and CAV technologies; gross value added for UK production of CAVs and CAV technologies; and for new UK jobs relating to production in this sector.

It specifically considers the markets relating to uptake of connected and autonomous cars, vans, heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and buses, with high levels of autonomy.

The 2017 edition of the Market Forecast assumed that the CAV uptake would take place evenly across all four vehicle types.

However, in this update of the Market Forecast, the uptake of CAVs within the van, heavy goods vehicle (HGV) and bus markets is assumed to occur at a different rate compared to the car market, with these three vehicle categories lagging behind cars.

Overall, the report notes, a three-year lag for buses, five-year lag for vans and an eight-year lag for trucks is suggested by the literature.

For cars and vans, the base vehicle costs are assumed to follow the trajectories for representative internal combustion engine (ICE) and electric vehicles within each category.

In the case of trucks and buses, only the diesel powertrains were considered, with an estimated average price of £92,800 for HGVs and £175,500 for a typical single deck bus in 2035.