The Conservative Party will outline their plans to introduce driverless cars to British roads by 2021, with chancellor Philip Hammond set to make an announcement in Wednesday’s budget.
Hammond’s announcement will mean that experts will be given the go ahead to start testing driverless vehicles in Britain without the legal implications that exist in the US and several EU countries. It means they will become widespread in less than four years.
The chancellor will test a driverless car for the first time today when he travels to the West Midlands. Hammond believes that four years is enough time to ensure the vehicles will be safe even without a ‘safety attendant’ on board.
He told the BBC: “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.”
According to reports, the budget will also include up to £400 million for electric car charging points as the Conservative government aims to position the UK at the forefront of the automotive industry.
Hammond was also asked whether driverless cars would mean thousands of workers losing their jobs. But he believes the country should not “hide from change” and has suggested the government equips job seekers with the right skills to enter a new profession.
The government also believes the introduction of driverless cars will enhance the automotive industry by £28 billion into the UK economy within 20 years. It’s estimated 27,000 people will be employed off the back of the new scheme.
Last year, Adrian Flux Insurance launched the world’s first driverless car insurance policy, which provides cover against a whole host of modern problems. It includes: faulty software and corrupted downloads, patchy satellite coverage and firewall failures.