CAVs key to UK achieving net zero 2050, say experts

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Connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) are key to the UK meeting its 2050 climate neutrality target, according to self-driving experts.

Research investigating the impact of these vehicles on the environment has highlighted how connectivity can boost a vehicle’s energy efficiency between 5-20%, with other aspects of connectivity such as freight platooning potentially bolstering this increase.

It’s also estimated that vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure connectivity could potentially save between £4-6bn a year with £400m being saved from reducing traffic congestion alone as connected vehicles could travel closer to one another, freeing up space on roads.

The report also states that connectivity could further open up MaaS possibilities, potentially attracting more demand for services such as self-driving robotaxis, leading to fewer privately-owned cars driving on UK motorways and helping to reduce emissions.

Connected and automated mobility (CAM) technology is currently being tested across various locations within CAM Testbed UK, a consortium of connectivity and self-driving testing facilities overseen by Zenzic, a government and industry-created hub organisation tasked with accelerating the development of self-driving vehicle technologies in the UK.

All cars produced in the UK are predicted to be connected by 2026

Daniel Ruiz, CEO of Zenzic, said: “With 2050 the milestone to meet, connected vehicles could provide a robust solution to help lower travel emissions.

“Vehicular connectivity can lead to less congestion on the roads, in turn leading to lower levels of pollution being emitted.

“But in order for us to start seeing both the environmental and economic benefits of connected and automated mobility, connectivity must be baked in from the very beginning – largely as it will enable new data services, driving efficiency, productivity, and mobility.

“From laying the foundations for full-scale CAM deployment with connectivity, it will allow for the flow of data generated by connected and self-driving vehicles, leading to better information and smoother journeys for the travelling public.”

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