techUK response to Connected & Automated Mobility study

techUK has responded the National Infrastructure Commission’s (NIC) study exploring the policy and infrastructure changes required to maximise benefits of new mobility technology.  

With the introduction of the Automated Vehicles Act 2024, the foundations for deploying all levels of automated vehicles (SAE Level 3-5) on public roads are now in place. In response to this study, techUK has addressed several critical questions regarding the benefits, risks, and infrastructure implications of CAM which are summarised below.  

The benefits of CAM 

Social impact: CAM promises significant improvements in safety and accessibility. Studies indicate that widespread CAM adoption could prevent approximately 3,900 fatalities and reduce serious accidents by around 60,000 from 2023 to 2040. The technology offers particular benefits for passenger vehicles, which are expected to account for up to 80% of these reductions. Additionally, CAM provides newfound mobility for individuals facing mobility challenges or those unable to drive.  

Economic gains: CAM is projected to deliver up to £66 billion in annual economic benefits by 2040, creating approximately 342,000 jobs. The bulk of these benefits, around £34 billion, will stem from improved commercial outcomes, increased production, and enhanced opportunities across various sectors, including telecoms, digital services, and insurance. 

Environmental advantages: Automated vehicles can optimise traffic efficiency, improving air quality and reducing emissions. Government studies suggest that even a small number of automated vehicles could lead to a 12% reduction in delays and a 21% improvement in journey time reliability during peak traffic periods. 

The risks to CAM 

Regulatory uncertainty: The primary risk to the CAM sector is the lack of complete regulatory clarity. The Automated Vehicles Act 2024 lays a foundation, but further secondary legislation is needed to fully enable the removal of human drivers in commercial services. Clear guidelines and a robust regulatory framework are essential for fostering industry confidence and preventing investment from shifting overseas. 

Social acceptance: Building public trust in CAM is crucial. Effective communication and exposure to the technology are key strategies for gaining public acceptance. Initiatives to allow trials without safety operators and developing human-machine interfaces that explain vehicle behaviour can help build this trust. 

Sustainable funding: Public investment is necessary, especially for deploying CAM services in less commercially viable rural or semi-urban areas. A government-backed funding model, similar to the Future Transport Zones programme, could mitigate financial risks and support broader CAM adoption. 

Manufacturing capacity: As the CAM sector grows, the demand for vehicles designed specifically for automation will increase. The UK must develop domestic manufacturing capabilities to produce these 'native' driverless vehicles, ensuring the sector's economic benefits remain within the country. 

Infrastructure considerations 

Physical infrastructure: CAM services should integrate seamlessly into existing infrastructure. Maintaining high standards for road conditions benefits all users, and minimal modifications are required for automated vehicles to operate safely. 

Electric Vehicle charging: Most automated vehicles will be electric, necessitating a robust and widespread charging infrastructure. Addressing challenges such as local grid capacity and connection queues is essential for supporting the growth of electric and automated vehicle fleets. 

Digital infrastructure: Reliable data and digital connectivity are beneficial for CAM. The expansion of 4G and 5G networks will support new business models and services. However, automated vehicles do not depend on continuous connectivity, ensuring safe operation even if internet connections are temporarily lost. 


The NIC's investigation into CAM is a welcome study. With the potential for significant social, economic, and environmental benefits, the UK is on the cusp of a transformative era in mobility. However, realising this potential requires concerted efforts from the government, industry, and infrastructure authorities to address regulatory, social, funding, and manufacturing challenges. By working together, the UK can lead the way in connected and automated mobility, leveraging its full transformative potential. 

techUK, through our Self-Driving Vehicle Group, is bringing together businesses from across our membership to engage Government, regulators and the broader ecosystem to drive the adoption of this exciting technology. 

Our full response to the NIC’s study is available to download here.  

For more information contact:

Ashley Feldman

Ashley Feldman

Programme Manager, Transport and Smart Cities, techUK

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