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Industrial Strategy supportive of driverless car technology

Industrial Strategy supportive of driverless car technology
  • United Kingdom
  • Industrials - Automotive


The UK’s automotive industry has grown substantially in the past decade. The government’s previous objective to attract investment from overseas, in particular, from Japan, and more recently, India, has facilitated this growth, and it has this week released a white paper to support further development for UK industry.

The 2017 Industrial Strategy white paper, released on Monday 27 November sets out the framework for UK growth post-Brexit, and the good news is that the government plans to invest heavily into the automotive industry over the coming years.

Whilst the white paper focuses on a number of industrial areas, the government is rolling out sector deals partnerships to increase productivity. It has already acknowledged four sectors and it’s fantastic to see that the automotive industry is one of them – it demonstrates the government’s continued intention to invest and grow the automotive industry.

Given the potential risks to the automotive industry post-Brexit, will it be enough if a realistic deal is not agreed?

As part of the existing automotive industry initiatives, the government is supporting the development of low carbon technologies that will form the basis of future vehicle supply chains, and it is keen to grow this even more.

This is key for two reasons. One: so the UK can continue to benefit from the transition to ultra-low and zero emission vehicles; and two: it will facilitate the adaptation within industry of autonomous vehicles. 

In addition, the government will be rolling out an industry-led supplier improvement programme to help businesses grow to match the best in Europe. The programme will provide training and enhanced business processes to help build the supply chain needed to manufacture future generations of vehicles in large quantities in the UK.

Furthermore, there will be a focus on connected and autonomous vehicles – a key area for growth within the sector, and an area where the UK can really showcase its technological strength. The UK is already the third largest car producer in Europe and employs around 160,000 people directly, with an additional 240,000 in the supply chain: the government has committed to increase the number of skilled workers even further, which is fantastic news for the industry.

In conclusion, it’s clear that the UK government recognises the key areas for growth in the automotive industry and has demonstrated its support.

The recent focus on technology within the automotive industry is an area where the UK can really add value. Brexit still creates much uncertainty in terms of international investment and future trade, but with these new initiatives and a focus on technology comes the potential for great opportunity.