Connected cars to deliver huge UK jobs boost, finds first UK study

Connected cars to deliver huge UK jobs boost

Connected and autonomous cars to create 320,000 UK jobs and save thousands of lives

Also on

  • Connected and autonomous cars to create 320,000 UK jobs and save thousands of lives
  • First in-depth forecast report concludes UK will be a key player in Europe in developing cars of future
  • SMMT kicks off first ever industry-wide showcase event and debate on connected and autonomous cars in the UK

New research commissioned by SMMT has found the development of connected and autonomous vehicles will help generate 320,000 jobs in the UK, delivering huge benefits to society and the economy. In the first ever comprehensive analysis of the UK opportunities provided by this new technology, KPMG has found that these new vehicles will deliver a £51 billion boost to the UK economy and reduce serious road traffic accidents by more than 25,000 a year by 2030. Crucially, it also forecasts the UK will be a global leader in the production of this next generation of vehicles.

The figures will be announced today at SMMTConnected, the first ever industry-wide event in Britain to explore the opportunities and challenges ahead and demonstrate how the UK automotive sector is already developing the cars of the future. Leading experts from BMW, Bosch, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and Volvo will champion their efforts to develop tomorrow’s intelligent vehicles and discuss how society as a whole can benefit from this latest technology.

Transport Minister Robert Goodwill MP and Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Digital Economy, will each provide keynote speeches at the event, which will be attended by 20 vehicle manufacturers from across the UK and more than 300 representatives from insurance providers, telecoms, academics, local government and software providers. SMMT will also highlight the latest work being carried out by the UK automotive sector in a broadcast video to be released today, which will include interview clips from Chancellor George Osborne.*

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Connected and autonomous cars will transform our roads and the way our society functions for generations to come, dramatically reducing accidents and helping to deliver more than £50 billion to our economy. The KPMG report clearly shows the UK automotive industry is leading the way in developing the cars of the future and that it will act as a catalyst for wider economic benefits that will create more than 300,000 jobs by 2030. The UK must grasp the opportunities ahead and ensure it is continually at the forefront of pushing through these next breakthrough technologies.”

Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said, “New technology is fundamental to government’s ambitious vision for our roads.  That is why we are making huge investments to support innovation, including £19 million for real-world trials of driverless cars and £100 million to research autonomous vehicles, as recently announced in the Budget. Connected and autonomous cars will help us move towards a smart, safe, efficient and low-carbon future.”

On display at today’s event will be some of the latest connected innovations, including vehicles from BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan. Some cars already on the market feature technologies that link the car with the driver’s phone, enabling remote door locking, controlled heating and air conditioning functions. On the move, meanwhile, self-parking systems and anti-crash sensors are already making journeys safer and easier. At the event today, industry experts will also approach issues to arise from this new era of automotive, including new road infrastructure, liability, data and privacy, and cyber security.

The UK has a unique opportunity to lead the way in developing the connected and driverless cars of tomorrow: it has a two-year head-start on other European countries, not having ratified the Vienna convention some decades ago. This means on-road driverless car pilots can take place without the need for primary legislation. Driverless car trials have already started in four British cities this year, and Chancellor George Osborne last week also announced a further £200 million government and industry investment into driverless research, development and demonstration in the UK.

Mike Bell, Global Connected Car Director, Jaguar Land Rover, said, “The potential of the connected car is huge. It is certainly one of our top priorities and we are making a significant investment in the technology, skills and partnerships to make this a reality. Jaguar Land Rover is taking a leading role and is actively embracing the connected car. We have huge potential to ensure the car has a prominent role in the Internet of Things, which will enhance the driving experience and make driving smarter, safer and even cleaner in the years to come.”

Graham Hoare, Director of Global Vehicle Evaluation and Verification, Ford, said, “Ford aims to help change the way the world moves and data and data analytics are key enablers in delivering this change. For example, it is essential to deliver car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure information to provide comprehensive information of the traffic environment that will allow autonomous driving cars to actually reach their destination.”

John Leech, Head of automotive at KPMG in the UK, said: “Our study has established that the UK is well-positioned to capitalise on the development and production of connected and autonomous cars. Not only will these developments help vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers, but they will bolster jobs, trade and productivity across the economy. Connected and autonomous vehicles will promote social inclusion, reduce pollution and save lives. This represents an important opportunity for the economy but one that requires continued focus and commitment from government and business.”



Notes to editors:

* Links to the broadcast video and high-quality b-roll will be available shortly.

In Connected and Autonomous Vehicles: The UK Economic Opportunity, KPMG for the first time analyses how the journey to full connectivity will transform Britain – expanding its industrial base, improving safety, congestion, efficiency and tailpipe emissions, driving up productivity and liberating space usually devoted to vehicles in urban areas. It forecasts that by 2030, every single new car will have some form of connectivity, while more than a quarter will be fully autonomous, preventing more than 25,000 serious accidents and saving thousands of lives. This support gives the prospect of yet more success for a UK automotive industry already enjoying a renaissance, with car production up more than 50% in the past five years alone. Currently some 770,000 people are employed across the sector in the UK, with more than a fifth of those directly employed in manufacturing. The era of the connected car will see the industry helping to provide jobs for more than a million people.

The following connected cars will be on display at SMMTConnected for technology demonstration purposes:

BMW i8

The BMW i8 plug-in hybrid supercar has a SIM card fitted as standard that unlocks a number of connected in-car technologies. These include Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking, which warns the driver and stops the car if a collision is imminent, while the Speed Limit Info function displays speed and overtaking restrictions.

The BMW i Remote app gives the i8’s owner round-the-clock access to vehicle data and information. It can be used to charge the battery, find a free public charging station and plan a route using a smartphone.

Jaguar F-type

The Jaguar F-type is equipped with InControl Apps, which allows drivers to use a variety of iOS and Android apps through the car’s touch screen. Jaguar Land Rover has worked closely with app developers to optimise a range of popular apps, such as Audiobooks, Parkopedia and Stitcher, for in car use. In Control Apps is available with a number of Jaguar Land Rover’s products, including the all-new Jaguar XE and Land Rover Discovery Sport.

Mercedes-Benz S-class

The Mercedes-Benz S-class uses a combination of six radars, five cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors and a range of intelligent systems to sensors to help take the burden off the driver. Distronic Plus is able to follow vehicles in traffic jams semi-autonomously, while BAS Plus with Cross-Traffic Assist is able to detect cross traffic and pedestrians and boost the braking power applied by the driver.

Active Lane Keeping Assist ensures the S-class doesn’t leave its lane unintentionally by applying the brakes on one side, while Traffic Sign Assist can recognise speed limit signs as well as no-overtaking zones and no-entry restrictions.

Nissan LEAF

The pure electric Nissan LEAF, which is manufactured at the company’s UK facility in Sunderland, features a new intelligent navigation system, CARWINGS. The system connects the LEAF with a smartphone or computer and allows the owner to remotely charge the car, pre-set the air conditioning and pre-plan routes. CARWINGS also gives the driver updates on the local electric charging network while on the go and it will also measure how economically the car is being driven – information that can be shared and compared with other electric vehicle owners worldwide.


For further information please contact:

SMMT Media contacts:

Ben Foulds

T: 020 7344 9222


Emma Butcher

T: 020 7344 9263


Alex Michaelides

T: 020 7344 1667




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KPMG Press Office: 020 7694 8773


About SMMT and the UK automotive industry

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is one of the largest and most influential trade associations in the UK. It supports the interests of the UK automotive industry at home and abroad, promoting a united position to government, stakeholders and the media.

The automotive industry is a vital part of the UK economy accounting for more than £64 billion turnover and £12 billion value added. With more than 160,000 people employed directly in manufacturing and in excess of770,000 across the wider automotive industry, it accounts for 10% of total UK export of goods and invests £1.9 billion each year in automotive R&D. More than 30 manufacturers build in excess of 70 models of vehicle in the UK supported by around 2,500 component providers and some of the world's most skilled engineers.

More detail on UK automotive available in SMMT's Motor Industry Facts 2014 publication at

Broadcasters: SMMT has an ISDN studio and access to expert spokespeople, case studies and regional representatives.

About KPMG

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 12,000 partners and staff.  The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.9 billion in the year ended September 2014. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 162,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity.  Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. 

This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.

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