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UK investors won over by AV Market but demand more help with investment choices

07 March 2017

International law firm Gowling WLG and economic research agency Explain the Market announce a year long research project to track investment in the UK Autonomous Vehicles sector.

Results from this first quarter of new research reveal widespread support by professional and private investors for the UK Autonomous Vehicle (AV) sector.

In the first of a series of studies 64% of investors say they believe driverless cars will be on UK roads within 10 years.

"Cars can already do so much. Things are moving fast but I'd like to understand better how to get involved from an investment perspective"
Source: Q1 AV Tracker private investor interview

Over 10% of investors already claim to be already actively investing in the sector, while Yorkshire and London have almost double the number of AV investors than anywhere else in the UK. But the majority are calling for better information about how to invest in the Autonomous Vehicles Technology market. Meanwhile, many are put off by a lack of regulation.

67% of UK investors are considering investing in the sector either now or in the future but almost 70% want more information about AV investment opportunities.

Lack of rules and regulations in the sector prevents almost half of all investors (47%) from making an investment. Investors claim that the availability of expert advice on the sector and information on AV companies are critically important.

Ongoing Tracker Study:

This is the first wave of a year long study of over 1,000 investors. The new ongoing tracker study will track the confidence, attitudes and opinions of UK investors to the AV sector and reveal what investors really want as the sector develops. The study will also probe the real barriers and factors that impact confidence.

"I am delighted to partner with Explain the Market and help the industry keep track of investor confidence in such an important and fast growing market"
Stuart Young, Partner Gowling WLG
"Investor confidence is such an important ingredient to the success of UK AV. Tracking both professional and private investors will help us understand better how the market can thrive in 2017 and beyond"
Guy Shone, CEO, Explain the Market

What Investors say:

"Considering the predictions for the growth in this sector - investors need more expert information from industry. A clear plan for sensible regulation would also boost confidence and turn interest into real investment"
Source: Q1 AV Tracker Private Investor interview
"We prefer getting our exposure via companies that will provide the technology needed for cars to have more driver assist features and eventually autonomous driving ability. This includes Tier 1 suppliers to the auto industry."
Source: Q1 AV Tracker Private Investor interview (Head of Technology, Top Tier UK Based Fund Management Group)

Regional Variations:

Wales and Northern Ireland are the areas where the most people (70%) are considering making a future investment in the AV sector.

Investors in the South West of England cite 'access to expert AV market advice' as the most important factor in deciding whether to invest.

The link between Smart Cities and AV investment is a major factor in Northern Ireland. 75% of all investors based in Northern Ireland consider the progress of Smart Cities projects a major factor to consider before making an AV investment.

The East Midlands has the highest number of investors who desire more information about investing (78%).

London and Yorkshire have the joint highest number of people already investing in the Autonomous Vehicles sector (17% of investors in each area).

The North West has the least number of people currently investing in the AV sector. But at the same time has more people considering making an investment than anywhere else in England.

To find out more about what investors have to say, download the full report.


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Dawn Beddard

Corporate communications manager

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