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Driverless cars to hit UK motorways in 2017

George Osborne has announced that driverless car trials will take place on UK motorways next year.

The UK’s Chancellor revealed his support for driverless car technology ahead of this week’s budget announcement.

“Driverless cars could represent the most fundamental change to transport since the invention of the internal combustion engine,” said Osborne in his pre-budget statement. “If successful, we could see driverless cars available for sale and on Britain’s roads, boosting UK jobs and productivity.”

Osborne plans to clear legislative barriers that would prevent driverless car technology from being used on UK roads, which could mean that the UK will be among the first in the world to adopt the technology in 2020.

Trials will initially hit local roads later this year, before extending to the country’s motorways and A-roads in 2017.

Those aforementioned local trials are set to take place in Bristol, Coventry, Milton Keynes and Greenwich.

Related: Best self-driving tech from the Geneva Motor Show

Just last week, the Department for Transport revealed that the UK would be trialling driverless lorries in Cumbria later in 2016. The approach would see a human-driven lorry leading a convoy of up to ten automated lorries that follow closely behind, and which are capable of responding to surrounding road conditions.

The UK’s terminally crowded roads would likely benefit more than most from such automated driving technology.


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