The UK government has announced a new industry-led hub, designed to speed up the evolution of connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) technologies.
The hub, named Meridian, was unveiled by Climate Change and Industry Minister, Claire Perry at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle Show. The hub is funded both by the CAV tech industry itself and the government’s £100m investment programme.
One of the first initiatives to derive from the scheme will be a new centre of excellence for driverless car testing, which will be positioned along the M40 corridor between Coventry and London. The cluster is hoped to grow intellectual capital and position the UK as ripe for foreign investment.
Meridian was founded off the back of calls for evidence by the Centre of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles last May for the UK to demonstrate ways of improving its CAV testing facilities.
Jim Campbell, launch director, Meridian, said: “In order for CAVs to be fully adopted they need to function seamlessly on all roads.
“Meridian will focus on integrating and connecting these vehicles with complex environments in the UK and around the world.
“For this to happen we need all industries, and government, to work together on the same technologies and the same standards. For this to happen collaboration is key.
“Meridian will give the UK the power to innovate CAV technology faster and more decisively than ever before, creating a test bed of facilities throughout the UK. This UK-wide operation will enable the UK to become globally competitive in CAV technology and open up new opportunities in the supply chain.”
The UK government published its new Centre for Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) Global Market Value report which forecasts the global CAV tech sector could be worth £907bn by 2035.
Some of the key takeaways and predictions from the report include:
The UK aims to position itself as industry leaders in CAV technologies, valuing the UK market at £52bn by 2035.
More than 27,000 jobs could be created in the UK by 2035 resulting from the production of CAV technology, including many new highly-skilled jobs in the automotive industry.
Almost three-quarters (70%) of jobs linked to CAV tech production will be highly-skilled and technical roles in software-related sectors.