Driverless cars could hit UK roads as soon as next year

The UK government has made a big commitment to self-driving cars, and it might not be long before we see the fruits of those labours.

Chancellor George Osborne has told The Guardian that autonomous vehicles could hit British roads as early as next year.

"Driverless cars could represent the most fundamental change to transport since the invention of the internal combustion engine. Naturally, we need to ensure safety, and that's what the trials we are introducing will test," he said.

Sections of UK roads are expected to be closed off to allow trials to take place. These tests are in addition to the driverless car research already taking place in Bristol, Coventry, Milton Keynes and Greenwich.

Osborne has been tipped to announce the trials as part of his Budget speech on Wednesday (March 16).

The chancellor is also expected to reveal plans to test a convoy of self-driving trucks on quiet stretches of British motorway.

The UK has established itself as a major player in the European self-driving car market, with manufacturers including Nissan and Jaguar outlining plans to market driverless vehicles on these shores.