Could driverless cars be on Hampshire’s roads within two years?

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The accident is causing short delays both ways at Southampton Road

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AN MP wants Hampshire to be a key centre for the introduction of driverless cars.

Royston Smith has urged the Government to add the county to London, Milton Keynes, Bristol and Coventry as areas for Government-backed trials of the new vehicles.

The Southampton Itchen MP is calling on Chancellor George Osborne to extend his backing for the development of driverless cars in the next two years.

In a letter to Mr Osborne, he wrote: ‘The introduction of autonomous vehicles could increase capacity on our road network while cutting down on the amount of accidents and improving air quality, a particular problem in Southampton.

‘I know four English areas have been selected for trials however I would be grateful if you would consider other strategic road networks such as Southampton and the South Hampshire region as an ideal area to pilot the use of driverless cars.”

The Government says the landmark trials show its commitment to putting Britain at the heart of a driverless car revolution,

About £100m has been pledged for research into the area, and ministers want digital address data to form the foundation of a driverless car network.

Volvo says London will next year be the site of the most ambitious driverless car trial yet.

And the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is directly funding trials taking place this year, in Bristol, Coventry and Milton Keyes, and Greenwich in London. The Milton Keynes trial is already in its early stages.