UK to test driverless cars as early as 2018

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond set to announce regulations allowing widespread trials of self-driving cars in Wednesday's budget

Driverless cars could be on UK roads by next year (Source: Peter Nicholls / Reuters)
Driverless cars could be on UK roads by next year (Source: Peter Nicholls / Reuters)

The UK could start testing driverless cars on their roads from as early as next year.

Chancellor Philip Hammond had said that the aim was to have “fully driverless cars”, with no human safety attendant, to be ready for us by 2021.

He is due to set out regulation changes in the budget due to be announced on Wednesday, which will allow developers to apply to test self-driving vehicles.

When questioned about whether this could potentially lead to drivers losing their jobs, Hammond insisted the UK could not “hide from change” and that people had to be equipped with new skills to start new careers.

Jaguar Land Rover have already begun testing self-driving vehicles on public roads, albeit with a human also on board in case of an emergency.

The cars are equipped with sensors which enable them to detect traffic, pedestrians, and signals.

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