“It's a very exciting thing, we want to provide the right environment for people to come to this country and invest,” Harrington said, as cited by Automotive News Europe. Speaking of having a competitive advantage in the field of autonomous vehicles, the minister added, “One thing that I think I would go with for this country is the strength of the universities.”
Speaking of universities, Oxbotica, an extension of the prestigious Oxford University, is one of the receivers of the grants. It is also leading a £13 million (approximately $17 million) project to put a fleet of self-driven cars on the roads between London and Oxford.
The driverless car market is estimated to reach a worth of £907 billion (approximately $1.2 trillion) by 2035 and the UK believes it can go head to head with the current biggest player, the US. China too has started making serious investments in this area, but Harrington is convinced that, as of this moment, the UK has the advantage.
That may very well be the case, Nigel Parker, partner at Allen & Overy LLP, explains to the publication. “This could end up being one of those areas where the government spots an opportunity to make a successful Brexit. There's an advantage to being able to set your own laws, but equally there's a disadvantage in not being aligned with the rest of Europe,” Parker says.