UK Aims for Zero-Emission Transport, Driverless Cars by 2021

In his latest budget speech, Philip Hammond, UK Finance Minister, said he plans to put driverless cars on British roads by 2021 and will invest $99 million (£75 million, €84 million) in funding Artificial Intelligence (AI) and £160 million in developing 5G technology, which the government believes will be necessary for the mass rollout of driverless cars. Even members of the public who wish to buy a battery-operated electric automobile will be eligible for funding. This all forms part and parcel of the UK’s endeavors to move towards zero-emission transport.

The government approximates that by 2035, the UK’s industry for driverless car will be valued at £28 billion. Hammond said that in order to achieve this, he will publicize law changes to make sure driverless cars are on the road in just 3 years.

In a BBC news report Hammond explained that while this may seem like a daring move, he believes the country has to embrace technologies that will see the UK at the forefront of the ensuing industrial revolution: “I recognize that I can’t use this budget just to trail a bunch of numbers, but must tell a story about where Britain is going.”

Meanwhile, critics argue that the minister, whom they nickname “spreadsheet Phil” for being obsessed by facts and figures and lacking a grand vision, is being pressurized to provide an attention-grabbing financial plan as a result of Brexit quarrels with other members of cabinet. He also plans to pronounce a fund of £400 million for corporations eager to start producing nation-wide charge points for electric cars.