- The U.K. government is allocating $100 million toward artificial intelligence research in its 2017 budget
- Finance Minister Philip Hammond wants fully driverless cars on the roads by 2021
- Training and attracting talent to the sector remains a challenge
With UK aggressively pursuing the development of Autonomous Cars, it wasn’t surprising at all when the country’s annual budget allocated £75 million ($99.4 million) for AI research and development, £400 million for electric car charging stations, £100 million to boost clean car purchases, another £100 million for an additional 8,000 computer science teachers, and £76 million to boost digital and construction skills training.
The budget will also include new reforms for on-road testing of automated cars as well as retraining initiatives for those undergoing job displacement and transition, according to a statement from the British government.
Some would say that’s a bold move, but we have to embrace these technologies if we want the U.K. to lead the next industrial revolution
– Philip Hammond, U.K.’s Finance Minister
The U.S. is currently ahead of the U.K. in terms of fully autonomous vehicles, and British companies are working to catch up. According to Hammond’s budget outline, the government wants to capitalize on the fact that, a new AI start-up is founded every week in the U.K.