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In a recent development, Britain said it will begin testing driverless cars on motorways for the first time in 2017, as it moves towards its goal of allowing autonomous cars to take to the streets by 2020.
The government said last year there was no legal barriers to the technology being tested and gave the go-ahead for vehicle trials to start on some local roads.
Finance minister George Osborne will soon announce plans to test vehicles on motorways and say the government will bring forward proposals to remove regulatory barriers to the technology.
“Naturally we need to ensure safety, and that’s what the trials we are introducing will test,” Osborne said in a statement ahead of his annual budget presentation. “If successful, driverless cars would be made available for sale and on Britain’s roads, boosting UK jobs and productivity.”
According to government, the market for autonomous driving is worth 900 billion pounds ($1.29 trillion) worldwide but needs to overcome legal obstacles including determining who would be responsible in the event of an accident.
Driverless car testing will be restricted to vehicles with a person present and able to take control should the need arise, Britain’s Department for Transport has previously said.
Google wants to eventually be able to deploy fully autonomous vehicles without human controls, and major automakers are racing to develop vehicles that can drive themselves at least part of the time.