In what could trigger a revolution in the UK automotive sector, a new report has detailed UK Government plans for the rollout of self-driving vehicles on UK roads.
The report forecasts that the self-driving industry could be worth £42 billion and generate 38,000 new jobs. The government is therefore proposing a £100 million package of support to help kick-start related businesses, research safety issues in order to inform future legislation, conduct market research and explore commercialisation initiatives.
Cars that can drive themselves on motorways will likely hit the market in the coming year, but drivers will still need a valid driving license. Self-driving vehicles that are capable of completing a full journey are expected in 2025 and will not require a driving license to travel in.
Edmund King, the president of the AA, said that it was right to put forward new legislation and fund research into this new technology. He said that while many drivers were already benefitting from assisted-driving systems, it was still a big jump to fully autonomous vehicles, adding:
“It is important that the government does study how these vehicles would interact with other road users on different roads and changing weather conditions. However, the ultimate prize, in terms of saving thousands of lives and improving the mobility of the elderly and the less mobile, is well worth pursuing.”
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