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UK tech industry set for budget boost, with self-driving high on the agenda

Tyrone Stewart

Houses of ParliamentThe 2017 UK budget is going to include the announcement of government reforms to encourage the development of self-driving and electric cars, AI and telecoms.

According to Her Majesty’s (HM) Treasury, the UK’s finance ministry, British chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond will include the plans for the UK’s innovation advancements on Wednesday (22 November) when he unveils his budget, Reuters reports. The hopes of the government are that this budget turns around its fortunes after a turbulent year.

Hammond is set to announce changes to the driverless car industry which would allow developers to apply to test their vehicles on UK roads without a human present. He has plans to have fully self-driving cars on the roads within the next three years.

Furthermore, the UK government is creating a £400m charging infrastructure investment fund to offer finance for organisations looking to develop charge points across the country. There is also £100m being set aside to provide people grants to help them buy battery-electric vehicles.

On top of those investments, £75m will be pumped into the AI industry, £160m being dedicated to the development of 5G mobile networks, £100m for 8,000 additional computer science teaches, and £76m in order to boost digital and construction skills.