The UK could gain a £62bn boost to its economy by 2030 if it helps car manufacturers launch their autonomous car technology in the country and by securing a favourable Brexit deal.

A report published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and Frost & Sullivan revealed that the UK has the potential to emerge as the world’s number one location for the mass-market potential of connected and autonomous vehicles.

In addition to financial benefits, the self-driving technology will save lives due to the safety benefits provided by driver assistance and self-driving technology that could prevent 47,000 serious accidents and save 3,900 lives over the next decade.

However, the ‘Connected and Autonomous Vehicles: Winning the Global Race to Market’ report warns that the success of such an initiative depends on a favourable Brexit agreement, with the possibility of ‘no deal’ putting investment and safety gains at risk.

With more than £500m already committed by the industry and government to connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) research, development and testing, the UK has the capability to gain an advantage.

“A transport revolution stands before us as we move to self-driving cars and the UK is in pole position in this £62bn race.”

Currently, car manufacturers are conducting autonomous driving trials in the UK’s major towns and cities.

The SMMT said that the UK is also home to four major CAV test beds and three more sites focused on highways, rural and parking. Over 80 collaborative R&D projects are under progress.

The self-driving car industry can also help to generate approximately 420,000 jobs, including in the automotive industry and other sectors such as telecoms and digital services.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “A transport revolution stands before us as we move to self-driving cars and the UK is in pole position in this £62bn race.

“Government and industry have already invested millions to lay the foundations, and the opportunities are dramatic, new jobs, economic growth and improvements across society. The UK’s potential is clear. We are ahead of many rival nations but to realise these benefits we must move fast.”

The report suggested that the UK must ensure a favourable Brexit deal that supports both the industry and technological collaboration, particularly in data.