Testing of autonomous vehicles will start in January

The government has today given the green light for driverless car testing to start next January.

Business secretary Vince Cable announced a competition for up to three cities to host the trials, as well as a £10m fund to aid the research.

Trials are expected to last between 18 and 36 months and will cover driverless cars where a qualified driver can take control of the vehicle if necessary, as well as fully autonomous vehicles with no driver.

Speaking at the launch of the initiative, Cable said: “The excellence of our scientists and engineers has established the UK as pioneers in the development of driverless vehicles through pilot projects. Today’s announcement will see driverless cars take to our streets in less than six months, putting us at the forefront of this transformational technology and opening up new opportunities for our economy and society.”

The government also launched a review of current road regulations to establish how the UK can remain at the forefront of driverless car technology and ensure there is an appropriate regime for testing driverless cars in the UK.

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