The Queen’s Speech: the UK economy driving full throttle on cutting-edge-tech

The digital economy, driverless cars and commercial spaceports outlined in the government’s plans for the coming year

by the commentator on 19 May 2016 07:07


Technology got an unprecedented mention today as the Queen opened parliament for the coming year. With Cameron still desperate to create a legacy of technological innovation and digital inclusion, in place of the Left’s relentless austerity narrative, further pledges have been made to position the UK as a key player in the digital world.

Following the announcements around driverless-lorries in the March budget, the Modern Transport Bill, introduced in the speech, further seeks to accelerate the UK’s development and roll out of driverless vehicles. The Bill promises to cut red tape and support further innovation, to not only encourage driverless vehicle ownership and use in the UK, but also to stimulate the country’s economy.

“The driverless car market is growing at a staggering rate, with the Boston Consulting Group projecting that it will be worth $42 billion by 2025” commented Paul Scarrott, director at Nimble Storage, as he went on to support the government’s ongoing support for this cutting-edge technology.  

However, he explained how beyond merely investing the more exciting and innovative technology, which is the driverless car itself, the government must also invest in the digital infrastructure that will be needed to power them.

“An extraordinary amount of digital infrastructure is needed to store the data generated by the vehicles. Indeed, Tesla’s fleet of cars records 1.5 million miles worth of data every single day,” he continued. “With this already mammoth amount of data set to increase rapidly as driverless cars become more popular, it’s important that greater consideration is given to how and where this data will be stored and shared, especially with the GDPR and Privacy Shield on the horizon.”

Gordon Morrison, director of government relations at Intel Security, also highlighted how the government, in its pursuit of innovation, mustn’t forget the new security risks these new technologies pose.

“With security researchers demonstrating the potential for hacking driverless cars, for example when a Jeep was remotely stopped on an American highway, the government must ensure that, as part of its innovative work with the automotive industry, cyber security remains a top priority” he expanded.

With a recent IDC report, commissioned by Veracode, indicating that there could be a lag of up to three years before connected car security systems are protected from hackers, comprehensively securing autonomous cars remains a significant challenge for automotive manufacturers as they are thrust into the heart of the technology industry.

With over 200 million lines of code in today’s connected car, not to mention smartphone apps linked to the car, we must ensure they are developed with security at the heart of the strategy, rather than as an afterthought”, Paul Farrington, senior solution architect at Veracode, affirmed.

The speech also emphasised the government’s promise for every household to have access high-speed broadband. And with targets of superfast broadband coverage for 95% of the nation’s premises by December 2017, the reinforcement of this promise will be well received by digital inclusion charities and remote households.

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