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Driverless cars could be tested on British roads within three years

The planned rule changes could see self-driving cars tested on UK roads in 2021. Credit: PA

Driverless cars may be tested on our roads in as little as three years under plans to be unveiled in the Budget.

Chancellor Philip Hammond hopes to give the green light to an industry the Treasury believes could support 27,000 jobs and be worth £28 billion to the economy by 2035.

He is expected to announce changes to regulations that will pave the way for self-driving cars to be tested on UK roads for the first time by 2021.

Milton Keynes will be at the centre of the bid to get driverless cars on the roads. The government has already announced that a cluster of excellence will be created along the M40 corridor - taking in the existing testing centre at Milton Keynes as well as London, Oxford and Birmingham.

Mr Hammond is hoping to boost Britain's tech sector Credit: PA

Mr Hammond is expected to announce tens of millions of pounds of investment in tech industries, including artificial intelligence (AI) and a planned £160 million for next-generation 5G mobile networks.

The measures will include:

  • £75 million for artificial intelligence£400 million for electric car charge points
  • £100 million to boost clean car purchases
  • £100 million for an additional 8,000 fully-qualified computer science teachers supported by a new National Centre for Computing
  • A re-training partnership between the TUC (Trade Union Congress), CBI (Confederation of British Industry) and the government
  • £76 million to boost digital and construction skills