• Richa Shetty

UK Leadership on Autonomous Vehicles held back by Infrastructure: KPMG

The UK risks falling behind with autonomous vehicle development due to not pushing ahead far enough with infrastructure preparations compared with other countries, according to new research from KPMG.

KPMG’s latest Autonomous Vehicle Readiness Index (AVRI) ranks the UK in ninth position for the most advanced autonomous vehicle markets in the world due to its leadership position around policy and security measures, but it said physical and digital infrastructure is needed to make sure it doesn't get pushed out of the top 10.

  • Compared to last year’s ranking, the UK has slipped two places, with South Korea and the United Arab Emirates inching ahead due to planned infrastructure investments.

  • For the third year running Singapore and the Netherlands lead the rankings, but the UK still stands ahead of Germany, Japan, and new entrant Denmark, among others. Know more about the Benefits of Autonomous vehicle in Fleet Management

UK Consumer opinion on Autonomous Vehicles Falls Behind:

In this year’s study, South Korea and Australia, have overtaken the UK on customer acceptance and both countries have also made strides forward with infrastructure.

Owen-Vandersluis said: “Within our analysis, consumer acceptance was measured by how tech-savvy a population is, which is influenced by both the availability of infrastructure and also the demographic structure.

“So there’s an expectation that assuming the same level of infrastructure, consumers in countries with a younger demographic will be more likely to adopt new technologies than those with more senior citizens. To combat this, governments will need to implement measures to ensure that new technologies, such as 5G and autonomous vehicles, will benefit all age groups.

“Ultimately, without being at the forefront of AV development and implementation, Britain is at risk of falling behind as a leading country in which to develop, trial, and scale AVs and associated business models and solutions.

“The UK has great potential to cement its position and compete on the global stage, but for this to become a reality, then action must be taken and investment secured, and sooner, rather than later.” Explore the Difference Between Activating your Fleet GPS Trackers Automatically and Manually?


More focus on Infrastructure Investment Required:

  • With infrastructure generally taking time to develop, some of the challenges recognized for the UK in last year’s index remain the same, particularly around digital and physical infrastructure.

  • However, a number of countries have moved ahead, through early activity in infrastructure generally in South Korea, and advancements in tech infrastructure specifically in the United Arab Emirates. 

  • Owen-Vandersluis explained: “To be truly ready for autonomous vehicles, the UK first needs to be ready for electric vehicles, with adequate provision of EV charging infrastructure, which many local governments are already focused on.

  • “This is a critical element as the availability of EV charging infrastructure is an indicator as to how likely the market is to adopt new technologies like autonomous vehicles. 

  • “The question of where that investment comes from remains to be seen, but without it, the UK will fall further behind its competitors.”

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