Self-driving cars to boost UK economy

The development of self-driving cars will help boost the economy and generate 320,000 jobs in the UK, according to research by KPMG.

Commissioned by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the research found that connected and autonomous vehicles will boost the UK economy by £51 million while reducing serious road traffic accidents by more than 25,000 a year by 2030.

These figures were revealed at SMMTConnected, the first industry-wide event in the UK exploring the opportunities and challenges facing the automotive sector with the development of self-driving cars.

One of the challenges that will need to be addressed at some point will be the implications of driverless cars on motor trade insurance, which may require updating to provide cover for the handling of self-drive vehicles.

KPMG has concluded that the UK will be a global leader in the production of connected and autonomous cars, which will act as a catalyst for wider economic benefits.

Speaking at SMMTConnected, SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "The UK must grasp the opportunities ahead and ensure it is continually at the forefront of pushing through these next breakthrough technologies.”

Driverless car trials have already begun in four British cities this year, and Chancellor George Osborne has announced that there will be a further £200 million government and industry investment into driverless research and development in the UK.