The deal to collaborate on driverless cars with Michigan will be a boost for Theresa May (pictured yesterday going to church with her husband Philip in Maidenhead)
Britain is set to sign a Brexit deal with Michigan to develop new technology including driverless cars, it has been revealed.
The UK is set to sign a memorandum of understanding to collaborate with the US state – which is home to Detroit, the centre of the country’s car industry.
Michigan State Governor Rick Snyder said the world is on the brink of a revolution in the car industry thanks to driverless vehicles.
And he said the deal will allow the UK and Michigan to share and hone technology so they can be at the forefront of the transformation.
The deal is a boost for Theresa May’s Government which has said it wants to use Brexit to champion new free trade deals with countries around the world.
Automotive Minister Richard Harrington said: ‘This agreement signals to the world that the UK is the go-to place for innovation in self-driving technologies supported by our advanced research base and open regulatory environment.
‘Through our modern Industrial Strategy we are committed to growing our self-driving and connected technology industry, making it a viable commercial sector and ensuring that we achieve our ambition of having fully self-driving cars on the UK roads by 2021.’
Mr Snyder said: ‘It’s a great opportunity. There’s so much we can do together in terms of looking at the future of autonomous vehicles, mobility, and the supply chain to deliver those things.
‘It’s about sharing test facilities, protocols, learning experiences.
‘We just opened a 500-kilometer test facility for autonomous vehicles in Michigan — we can do great partnerships.
‘We are the world’s leader in mobility. Seventy-six percent of all U.S. auto industry R&D happens in Michigan.’
He said the car industry is in the grip of a radical transformation with the emergence of driverless cars and new types of engines.
And he also said that younger drivers are not so interested in owning their own car but want to share vehicles.
He told Politico website: ‘I don’t think there has been a more transformational time for the auto industry than today.
The car industry is in the grip of radical transformation and the UK and Michigan will collaborate on technology such as driverless cars (like the one pictured) to be at the forefront of it
Michigan State Governor Rick Snyder said the world is on the brink of a revolution in the car industry thanks to driverless vehicles (file pic)
‘There are big trends going on in parallel. First is this ‘mobility’ concept — instead of being concerned with owning a physical asset, young people in particular are only interested in how do I go from A to B.
‘Then there is the convergence of the auto industry and the IT industry.
‘The next trend is about propulsion systems — whether it be internal-combustion, electric, fuel cells.
‘And then there is the use of advance materials — aluminum, carbon fiber and so on. It’s a huge amount of change.’
He also hailed Brexit as an opportunity for Britain to do more deals with the United States.
He said: ‘People are aware of Brexit. They view it as something where the UK most likely will be turning to America more, because of the historical relationships that exist there.’