UK embraces driverless car technology and plans live road tests

s300_driverless-carDriverless cars could be coming to a motorway near you as UK government plans live tests to develop the technology. Chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne has given a sneak preview of measures designed to give the economy a shot in the arm and driverless vehicles featured prominently.

He told reporters that the budget, which is due to be delivered to Parliament on Wednesday, would enable the country to lead the way when it came to new technology and transport options. He continued by saying that in this current period of financial uncertainty Britain needed to be brave and make the right decisions on technological innovation.

He explained that driverless car technology would probably trigger the biggest change to transportation since the invention of the steam engine. He noted that safety was of paramount importance and trials on UK roads would be designed to make certain the technology could be used without risk.

Although no definite date has been set for the commencement of the road trials, insiders say it will likely be next year. The tests are being conducted under the government’s Intelligent Mobility initiative and funded out of the £100 million budget allocation for it.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has voiced his full support for the chancellor. He said that initiatives on smart transport could pay dividends for the UK and help the national economy by attracting investors.

The government has already admitted lanes on some of the roads used for the trials will have to be closed to ensure there are no awkward incidents. Local authorities in locations such as Greenwich and Bristol have already begun preparing highways for the tests.



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