British finance minister announces plans to have driverless cars running on UK roads by 2021

British finance minister Philip Hammond is to announce $99 million funding for Artificial Intelligence and plans to put driverless cars on UK roads by 2021, in his budget speech on Wednesday.

Google self-driving prototype car. Reuters

Google self-driving prototype car. Reuters

Hammond will announce regulation changes to allow Britain's driverless car industry, which the government estimates will be worth £28 billion by 2035, to get cars on the road within as little as three years, according to extracts of the budget released by his office today.

The minister, who is under a pressure to deliver an eye-catching budget following Brexit spats with cabinet colleagues, will also announce a £400 million fund for companies hoping to roll out electric-car charge points across the country.

People hoping to buy a battery-electric vehicle will also be able to access funding as Britain attempts to move towards zero-emission transport.

With a focus on tech industries, the government is also planning to spend £75 million supporting companies developing AI and £160 million in developing 5G technology, which it believes will be necessary for the mass rollout of driverless cars.

However, the Conservative minister is likely to be judged more on his social spending policies, particularly on his housing policy in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster that killed 71 people.

 


Published Date: Nov 20, 2017 12:32 PM | Updated Date: Nov 20, 2017 12:32 PM