Budget 2016: Chancellor George Osborne to announce UK will test driverless cars on motorways from next year

Jessica Morris
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Figures suggest the driverless car market will be worth £900bn (Source: Getty)

Driverless cars could transverse the UK's motorways for the first time in 2017, bringing Britain a step closer to its goal of having autonomous cars fully operational by 2020.

Chancellor George Osborne is expected to announce plans in next week's Budget 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 Wednesday.

"If successful, we could see driverless cars available for sale and on Britain's roads, boosting UK jobs and productivity."

The government unveiled a £20m fund to help those developing the technology to create "enhanced communication between vehicles and roadside infrastructure or urban information systems" last month.

Figures suggest that the driverless car market will be worth £900bn worldwide by 2025, however it faces legal headwinds such as determining responsibility in the event of a crash.

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