George Osborne has announced that driverless cars will be undertaking trials on British roads in the next year, with a goal of changing the face of motoring by 2020.
The test drives, which are being used to asses safety, will be undertaken on a number of local roads before moving on to sections of motorway.
Osborne hinted that more information on the trials will be announced in the upcoming budget. He said: “At a time of great uncertainty in the global economy, Britain must take bold decisions now to ensure it leads the world when it comes to new technologies and infrastructure. That’s what my Budget next week will seek to do.
“Driverless cars could represent the most fundamental change to transport since the invention of the internal combustion engine. Naturally we need to ensure safety, and that’s what the trials are we are introducing will test.
“If successful, we could see driverless cars available for sale on Britain’s roads, boosting UK jobs and productivity.”
It has been suggested that driverless cars could eventually prevent up to 95 per cent of crashes on British roads.
The trials are due to take place in Bristol, Coventry, Milton Keynes and Greenwich.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin told BT: “Driverless vehicles have the potential to profoundly transform journeys by making travel a simpler experience for drivers, reducing accidents and helping traffic flow more smoothly.
“This work is further proof that the UK is leading the way for the testing of this new technology, which will also benefit our society and the wider economy by opening up new routes for global investment.”