Embattled chancellor will sweep away regulation to allow testing of cars and put up £1bn for tech

Driverless cars will be on Britain’s roads by 2021 as a result of sweeping regulatory reforms that will put the UK in the forefront of a post-Brexit technological revolution, chancellor Philip Hammond will say this week. In his budget on Wednesday Hammond will allow driverless cars to be tested without any human operator inside or outside the car, and without the legal constraints and rules that apply in many other EU nations, and much of the US.

The move – welcomed by the UK motor industry – is part of an attempt by Hammond and the Treasury to project a more upbeat message about the prospects for the UK economy after Brexit, and focus on opportunities as well as the risks. Carmakers have warned that they may have to move at least some production abroad if there is no deal to keep Britain inside the EU single market and customs union, at least for a two-year transition period.

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