Addressing the crowd in Birmingham, Mr Grayling urged businesses to help make the UK a global hub for driverless vehicles, insisting the technology will “transform” the lives of the elderly and disabled.
He went on to confirm that the Modern Transport Bill will emerge early next year and will aim to help the country become a world-leader in autonomous driving technology.
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Mr Grayling said: “I recently had my first experience of a driverless car - and, believe me, it's a very unusual experience.
“But, do you know what, it's all of our futures - and what a difference it's going to make. And I think particularly what I think is exciting about this is the difference it's going to make to the lives of the elderly or disabled. I think it will transform their lives almost more than anyone else’s in our society.
“It will mean better use of our roads, more reliable journeys, safer motoring – and I want us to be at the forefront of that.”
In the Queen’s Speech delivered in May this year, it was announced that the Government would push forward with the Modern Transport Bill.
It is hoped the legislation will help to cut congestion for motorists, boost the UK’s economy and make more efficient use of the country’s road network.
In addition, it was said the bill would cover the use of drone technology and plans for a commercial spaceport in the UK.
Mr Grayling called on the world’s automotive industry directly to embrace the opportunities the bill is set to bring.
“I want to say to the motor manufacturers of the world: 'Come to the UK, develop your technology here. We have the most skilled and knowledgeable workforce in the world. Britain is open and this Government will support you’.”
Further announcements made by Mr Grayling yesterday concerned the HS2 high-speed rail project. He said the development would usher in an “Elizabethan era” for Britain’s railways.
He added that the project would benefit road users too, not just people who travel by train.
“Our whole country will benefit from this new project. The motorist who never uses a train will have a quicker journey as we get more freight off the roads,” he said.