The UK is pretty lacking when it comes to large, major carmakers. However, many experts think that this may change as the self-driving cars industry takes off. Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, said in a recent interview:
“We tend to miss the fact that at technology we’re very good in this country”. He then went on to talk about the UK’s role in companies such as ARM, which started originally in Cambridge and was eventually bought – for a tidy sum of £23.4 billion – last year. This is just one of many examples of how Britain is more than able to take the lead when it comes to technological advances on the world stage.
However, when it comes to driverless, or autonomous cars, testing is key. Failure to produce the right technology quite literally puts lives at risk, but the UK government has allocated £250 million so far towards the development and testing of driverless vehicles in the UK – with Jaguar and Ford both on board to test the cars.
However, the US state of California has recently been awarded 47 trial permits, enabling companies to test their trial autonomous vehicles in the state. However, in a daring move, the UK government have made plans to make the UK the first country where companies are legally able to test driverless vehicles, without the need for a human in the car.
Driverless cars may seem like the thing of sci-fi novels, but in reality a driverless society a lot closer than you might think. The UK government estimates that autonomous driving technology will be worth £50 billion by the year 2035 – and hope for a dramatically reduced amount of road traffic accidents over the coming decades.