Driverless cars could generate £4bn in motorway advertising by 2070

New analysis, just published by engineering consultancy Ramboll, shows that more than £4bn in advertising revenue could be generated by motorway advertising on gantries, designed to appeal to driverless car passengers by 2070.

Ramboll’s figures have shown suggested income of over £4.5 million in 2026, rising steadily over subsequent years as the new technology is introduced and leading to a total revenue between 2025 and 2070 of over £4bn. 

Many industry experts have estimated that self-driving cars are likely to be commonplace within the next 10 years, rendering gantries that provide driver information obsolete. However, by using the infrastructure and available space for advertising, Ramboll have signalled potentially profitable business opportunities.

The figures have been drawn up based on predictions of the uptake of driverless cars and the average cost of advertising space in such areas. The research found that annual revenue will peak in 2050, at £147m, then slowly decline as the existing gantry structures approach the end of their predicted lifespan.

Taxi companies such as Lyft and Uber are already in operation with self-driving cars in San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Phoenix, and uptake continues to spread. The transport team at Ramboll predict that cities and roads will be transformed over the next century due to the widespread uptake of driverless cars. 

While advertising on motorways is currently limited due to the potential for adverts to distract drivers, driverless cars mean this could be lifted, and passengers provide a clear captive audience. Far from being obsolete, overhead structures such as gantries could therefore be considered valuable future assets that enable businesses to capitalise on this transport revolution. 

Stephen Knox, engineer at Ramboll commented: “This research presents exciting opportunities for the future of highways. As environmental consultants we at Ramboll are always keen to remain ahead of the game in terms of predicting how our infrastructure must adapt to future social and technological changes. In providing a potential use for soon to be redundant gantries, we could open many doors, and it is vital that both business and government take the time to consider these.”

If you would like to contact Andy Walker about this, or any other story, please email


At last, a real reason to ban autonomous vehicles. Anything that encourages advertising is the devil's plaything.