Budget 2017 UK: Nope, driverless cars are not in the Budget, Philip Hammond just used them for laughs about Corbyn's Labour leadership

 
Lynsey Barber
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BRITAIN-TRANSPORT-DRIVERLESS CAR
Driverless cars crash out of Budget just for a joke (Source: Getty)

You'd be forgiven for thinking that driverless cars are getting a major boost with plans announced in today's Budget to help the UK become a top player in automotive automation.

For anyone listening to chancellor Philip Hammond's speech (or reading through the transcript), there was indeed mention of funding for disruptive technologies such as "biotech, robotics and driverless cars".

Read more: Robotics, 5G and everything promised for tech in the Budget

But a quick glance through the Budget documents to find exactly what those plans entail reveals not a single mention at all of driverless car technology.

Could Hammond have used the technology just for laughs?

Shamelessly shoe-horning a shot at Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Hammond said: "£270 million to keep the UK at the forefront of disruptive technologies like biotech, robotic systems and driverless vehicles... a technology I believe the party opposite knows something about."

A quick call to the Treasury confirms that indeed, there is no update on driverless car technology.

Read more: These are the winners and losers of the Spring Budget

That hasn't stopped it, quite understandably, appearing in multiple stories about Budget announcements (he did say it, after all) and many a comment in many a journalist's inbox giving insight into what this means.

While the government has been big on supporting the development of driverless cars in the past, in this instance, it actually means nothing at all, it turns out (getting anyone into tech all excited for nothing).

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