BIRMINGHAM, England -- Britain will see truly driverless cars on its roads in three to four years and there will still be a role for diesel cars for many years, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said on Monday.
"We are now rapidly approaching the era of the driverless car," Grayling told the Conservative Party conference in the English city of Birmingham. "I expect the first truly driverless cars to be on our roads within three or four years."
Grayling said he was committed to ending the sale of new diesel and gasoline cars by 2040, but that diesel cars would have a role in years to come.
"Newer diesel cars today are cleaner than ever before and of course there will be a role for diesel for many years to come as technology evolves," he said.
The government announced plans in June to fund projects that will research and test autonomous vehicles on highways and on trials of remote-control parking.
Oxbotica, one of the companies that has received government funding, is leading a 13 million-pound project to program fleets of autonomous vehicles to drive together between London and Oxford.