In the 2015 budget speech UK Chancellor George Osborne announced an £100 million investment into driverless cars, making sure the future of the automotive industry is based in the UK.
It is part of a growing trend by the UK to not be left out of the “next big thing” in technology; investing into Internet of Things, super-fast broadband, public WiFi and driverless cars.
The UK will commission four zones for driverless car testing, allowing Google, Audi, Tesla Motors and other companies working on self-driving vehicles to test the automation platforms for bugs.
Google needs the information from the test drives to work on sensor technology and mapping. Before the first driverless car is launched, there needs to be certain safeguards to make sure every object both on and near the road is recognised.
It is even more of an issue for Google, who is working on a platform for General Motors, Ford, Volkswagen and other car companies to use. If this platform fails to deliver, it could harm hundreds of millions of customers.
Osborne did not detail what exactly the £100 million was going towards in his speech, but most of it will be to the creation of several test sites for companies to test their driverless cars.
The UK still outlaws driverless cars in most cases, but is looking into lifting these laws by 2017 along with the US and Germany.