Driverless cars could be on UK roads within the next four years after the UK government announced plans to invest in the sector.
Chancellor Philip Hammond state 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,”.
However, the chancellor did admit that he was yet to use a driverless car himself.
When speaking on the Andrew Marr show he told the audience that he was promised to go in one this week, when he and Theresa May go to the West Midlands to announce an increase in budget for the transport industry.
Mr Hammond is expected to announce regulation changes in this week’s Budget, which will allow developers to apply to test driverless vehicles on UK roads.
When questioned on the potential loss of jobs for drivers, he said the country can’t “hide from change”, and that it was up to the government to ensure people are equipped with the necessary skills “to take up new careers”.
The announcement comes after the UK’s biggest car manufacturer, Jaguar Land Rover, began testing driverless cars on public roads. The tests were conducted in Coventry over several weeks with a human on board to react to any emergencies.
It is predicted that by the year 2035, the industry will be worth up to £28bn to the UK economy and could have created 27,000 jobs
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Critics have warned that the necessary technology for driverless cars is still a long way off from being ready.
Jeremy Clarkson, former Top Gear host said he was recently in a self-driving car which made two mistakes which could have killed him in just a 50-mile journey.
Writing in the Sunday Times magazine, Mr Clarkson said the incidents convinced him that the technology was still a very long way off, adding that “for now, we’re miles away from it.”
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