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A UK consortium made up of Jaguar Land Rover, Ford, Coventry Council, Milton Keynes Council, AXA, the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, and the Open University, won the Government’s £10 million ‘Introducing driverless cars,’ competition, meaning a semi-autonomous Range Rover will be tested on roads in Milton Keynes and Coventry from January 2015.
Jaguar Land Rover was also given the go ahead to perform real world trials on lightweight self-driving pods designed for pedestrian spaces, with further trials set to take place in Bristol and London.
Osbourne highlighted the £15 billion upgrades to the UK’s roads announced earlier this week which include measures to help tackle some of Britain’s most notorious hot spots. One of the plans includes the build of a tunnel at Stonehenge to improve congestion on the A303.
1,300 new lane miles will be added to the UK’s road network in a bid to cut traffic time whilst extra lanes will be created on key motorways to transform them into smart motorways.
The Government also revealed that it will press ahead with plans to introduce signs on motorways that display the price of fuel at service stations, in a bid to help competition and lower fuel prices.
Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said: “For too long drivers have been ripped off by petrol prices on motorways. This government wants to support the hardworking people of Britain and build a fairer society.”
Plans for an £85 million fund to support ultra-low emission taxis, buses and cities were also announced whilst motorists were also spared a rise in fuel duty on petrol and diesel.
Neil Addley, managing director of Trusted Dealers said: ‘There wasn’t an awful lot of new news in the chancellors statement although it’s good to see fuel duty will remain frozen. Perhaps more important is that the government’s pledge to invest in the country’s roads is delivered not just promised. But of course no government can bind its successors, and so unless we have a liberal democrat / Conservative coalition after the general election, I am sure they have given themselves plenty of riggle room if they need it.’
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