Government confirms driverless cars to be tested on UK roads in 2018
New regulations set to be announced in Wednesday's budget will pave the way for driverless cars to be tested on UK roads as early as next year, the Government has confirmed. (BBC News)
Speaking on the Andrew Marr show today (19 Nov), chancellor Philip Hammond said the objective was to have ‘fully driverless cars’, without a safety attendant on board, in use by 2021.
Mr Hammond said: “Some would say that's a bold move, but we have to embrace these technologies if we want the UK to lead the next industrial revolution.”
Asked about the potential loss of jobs for drivers, Mr Hammond said the country could not ‘hide from change’ and the Government has to equip people with the skills ‘to take up new careers’.
The announcement will come as little surprise to those in the transport sector, with the Government regularly expressing its desire for the UK to take the lead in developing autonomous technology.
Earlier this month, transport secretary Chris Grayling claimed autonomous vehicles offer ‘tremendously exciting’ potential benefits, including making travel by road ‘far safer’.
In a speech to an Association of British Insurers conference, Mr Grayling also predicted the arrival of ‘self-driving cars’ on UK roads by 2021.
In August, the Government announced that small convoys of 'partially driverless lorries' will undergo trials on British roads by the end of 2018.
The £8.1m ‘platooning’ trial will see up to three heavy goods vehicles, travelling in convoy, with acceleration and braking controlled by the lead vehicle.
The Government has also funded a number of research projects, including the GATEway project (pictured above) - which is being led by the Transport Research Laboratory.
Category: Autonomous vehicles.