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Green light for driverless cars on UK roads by 2015

Cities invited to bid for three-year driverless car trial starting in January

BUSINESS Secretary Vince Cable has announced two measures giving the go-ahead for driverless cars on UK roads by January 2015.

Cities can bid for a share of £10million to host a driverless car trial.

Up to three cities will be selected to host trials lasting between 18 and 36 months from January.

Ministers have also launched a review of road regulations aimed at putting the UK 'at the forefront of driverless car technology'.

The review will look both at fully autonomous cars and those with a qualified driver who can take control.

Announcing the measures today, Mr Cable said: 'The excellence of our scientists and engineers has established the UK as a pioneer in the development of driverless vehicles through pilot projects. Today’s announcement will see driverless cars take to our streets in less than six months, putting us at the forefront of this transformational technology and opening up new opportunities for our economy and society.

Transport Minister Claire Perry said: 'Driverless cars have huge potential to transform the UK’s transport network – they could improve safety, reduce congestion and lower emissions, particularly CO2. We are determined to ensure driverless cars can fulfil this potential which is why we are actively reviewing regulatory obstacles to create the right framework for trialling these vehicles on British roads.'

But motoring groups are sceptical about the move. The RAC said: 'We suspect it will be difficult for people to come to terms with giving up control of their vehicle to a computer.'

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