IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Autonomous cars to be trialled on UK motorways in 2017

Government aims to have autonomous vehicles cleared for UK roads by 2020

Autonomous cars will be trialled on UK motorways for the first time starting from 2017, the government is set to announce.

Chancellor George Osborne will share plans on Wednesday to test driverless vehicles on motorways and say the government will advance proposals to remove regulatory barriers to the technology, the Treasury told Reuters.

The announcement will be yet another step to towards autonomous vehicles receiving full regulatory clearance, with a new goal of the machines being fully cleared by 2020.

"Naturally we need to ensure safety, and that's what the trials we are introducing will test," Osborne said in a statement.

"If successful, we could see driverless cars available for sale and on Britain's roads, boosting UK jobs and productivity."

Autonomous lorries were mooted to be the among the first autonomous vehicles to be tested on UK motorways two weeks ago.

Driverless car trials will take place in four areas of the UK this summer: Bristol, Coventry, Milton Keynes and the London borough of Greenwich. A set of converted Heathrow pods will take part in the Greenwich trial.

Driverless car tests will be restricted to vehicles with a human driver present and able to take control should the need arise, the Department for Transport has said.

UK government has also awarded eight UK-led projects with 20 million to conduct research and development on autonomous cars and the future of roadway infrastructures.

Meanwhile, the US's highways safety agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said there are still significant legal obstacles to be cleared before self-driving cars without steering wheels and gas pedals could be sold in the States underlining comments it previously made in a letter to Google about its self-driving AI system.

Featured Resources

The state of Salesforce: Future of business

Three articles that look forward into the changing state of Salesforce and the future of business

Free Download

The mighty struggle to migrate SAP to the cloud may be over

A simplified and unified approach to delivering Enterprise Transformation in the cloud

Free Download

The business value of the transformative mainframe

Modernising on the mainframe

Free Download

The Total Economic Impact™ Of IBM FlashSystem

Cost savings and business benefits enabled by FlashSystem

Free Download

Recommended

Podcast Transcript: What’s so hard about public sector IT?
public sector

Podcast Transcript: What’s so hard about public sector IT?

3 Dec 2021
The IT Pro Podcast: What’s so hard about public sector IT?
public sector

The IT Pro Podcast: What’s so hard about public sector IT?

3 Dec 2021
Majority of UK's top business leaders are failing to manage supply chain security risks
supply chain management (SCM)

Majority of UK's top business leaders are failing to manage supply chain security risks

16 Nov 2021
UC Irvine selects Velodyne Lidar’s traffic-monitoring solution
smart city

UC Irvine selects Velodyne Lidar’s traffic-monitoring solution

28 Sep 2021

Most Popular

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

29 Jul 2022
Samsung proposes 11 Texas semiconductor plants worth $191 billion
Hardware

Samsung proposes 11 Texas semiconductor plants worth $191 billion

21 Jul 2022
Should you take your password manager off the internet?
Sponsored

Should you take your password manager off the internet?

28 Jul 2022