Connected and autonomous plant to 2035

The Connected and autonomous plant (CAP) roadmap will revolutionise construction safety and bring productivity gains of £200 billion if adopted by 2040.

Diagram showing Connected Autonomous Plant process

About the roadmap

Together with i3P, we led the development of a roadmap for the implementation of automation in construction. This was a collaborative project which drew on expertise from clients, academia, industry, and government to create the roadmap.

Stakeholders shared in the development of the vision and explored how challenges in technology, standards, legal and commercial constraints can be overcome.

Introducing CAP into the construction industry will bring about significant positive disruption across all aspects of the industry, with estimations that CAP technologies could deliver a 20-25% improvement to construction productivity.

About the CAP Levels

Since publishing the Roadmap to 2035, we've continued working with industry to establish a common language and first-of-a-kind maturity framework to enable CAP to be specified and deployed on construction schemes across the industry.

We’ve introduced ‘CAP levels’ as a new, standardised measure for CAP across all of our sites. These score machinery according to its level of automation, from 0 (no automation) to 4 (full automation).

The CAP levels have been developed based on the same process humans use to carry out tasks, namely:

  • Observe – the acquisition of data from sensors
  • Understand – processing data to work out the current situation
  • Decide – use processed data to develop different options for next actions and choose
  • Act – implement the chosen decision

We’ve also incorporated the concept of ‘fallback’ into the levels – known as Responsibility.

View an example of CAP levels.


CAP Roadmap Report – sets out the roadmap and the stakeholder consultation

Interactive CAP Roadmap – SharpCloud interactive roadmap that will grow and develop over time

CAP launch webinar – recording of the live webinar held on 12 June, featuring i3P chair and HS2 CEO, Mark Thurston; TRL CEO Paul Campion and National Highways Commercial & Procurement Executive Director, Malcolm Dare. Access the webinar recording on Vimeo.

Delivering digital infrastructure – making it happen – this document outlines the design of a connected and autonomous site that will improve safety and transform productivity in delivery.

View the interactive CAP roadmap
Example of Connected Autonomous Plant
Read the CAP roadmap report
Example of Connected Autonomous Plant
Delivering digital infrastructure
Example of Connected Autonomous Plant


The roadmap and CAP levels have been developed as a living document, evolving alongside the industy as it develops and increasingly adopts CAP capabilities. National Highways and i3P welcome any feedback you may have on the roadmap, CAP levels or any activities you may be undertaking which contribute to the implementation of particular workstreams. To provide feedback or register your interest in joining the CAP community, please email: