The UK’s pool of driverless car engineer talent could be a barrier to the government’s plan to turn the UK into a hub of development in driverless car technology
A single autonomous car engineer adds £10million to a company’s value, according to a driverless car networking manager; that's based on a shortage of autonomous car engineeers and how much the industry values this sector.
So low is the pool of autonomous car engineers that it’s expected that by 2025, just 417,000 skilled workers will be supplied to a global industry with demand for 1,159,000.
The Intelligent Mobility Skills Strategy, a report released late last year by Catapult Transport Systems, alleges the shortfall, and offers solutions such as reducing the transport industry’s hunger for traditional, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)-skilled workers; instead focusing on digitally-skilled workers, as well as apprenticeship schemes, in order to quell the deficit.
Alex Lawrence-Berkeley, organiser of ‘Self Driving Track Days’ – a networking event aimed at grassroots driverless car technology projects – highlighted the shortfall in talent at the most recent Track Day, alongside the showcasing of latest autonomous technologies from across the globe.
The UK government has been aiming at making the UK the global hub for the development of autonomous cars, and has allocated funds to several aspects of driverless cars’ development, including cyber security, testing and driverless public transport solutions.
Lawrence-Berkeley also expressed uncertainty about funding due to be announced in coming weeks as the ‘purdah’ period prevents any new funding being announced or awarded ahead of the snap election on 8 June.