New U.K. Budget to Put Self-Driving and Electric Vehicles at the Forefront

Source: Flickr

The United Kingdom is proving that it is prepared to take driverless cars and electric vehicles seriously. The government doesn’t want to sit idly by as the United States, China, and other countries streamline the adoption of electric vehicles and autonomous cars.

To make sure it stays on the forefront of technology, the UK’s finance ministry has made public that its newest public that is due for an official reveal come November 22, 2017, will include measures to help the UK increase electric and self-driving cars adoption.

Source: Nissan USA

Additionally, the government is set to establish a new rule that allows automakers to test self-driving vehicles on public roads, and guess what? These cars will not require an operator. Furthermore, there’s also a general fund of around $529 million to aid companies in setup charging stations.

To make things even more interesting, the finance ministry promises to offer up to $132 million in incentives to make EVs cheaper to own, if even for the short term.

What we are seeing here is a country that is willing to go the extra mile to make the world a better place in terms of emissions and road fatalities. Now then, it’s not certain how much consumers stand to save when purchasing EVs after this new policy goes into effect, but whatever the savings, it’s always a good move.

The budget in regards to other tech-related things

So then, the UK is also planning to spend $211 million to help with the rollout of 5G networks., a similar amount for computer science teachers, and $100 million for the development of skilled workers. Not to mention another $100 million for the budding AI industry.

Looking at the budget, we can see how important it is once one takes into consideration the UK’s ambitious goals. The country is going down a path where it will likely honor the Brexit agreement; therefore, it will no longer be chummy with the European Union.

Whether or not Brexit was a good thing is still left to be seen, but as things are right now, the UK has little choice but to make big decisions to ensure the economy doesn’t fall to the dogs in the coming years. Probably the best way to make sure this never happens is to keep up with technology.

Philip Hammond, the finance minister, is interested in having self-driving cars roaming British streets in just three years. That’s probably too early since several manufacturers have only recently begun testing the technology.

Nissan, for example, is currently testing autonomous vehicles in London, but it’s early days right now, and there’s no certainty everything will be ready in three years. Time will tell if the UK stays ahead of the curve because others are way ahead.