Cable said, "Today's announcement will see driverless cars take to our streets in less than six months, putting us at the forefront of this transformational technology and opening up new opportunities for our economy and society."
According to the BBC, researchers in the UK have already been developing autonomous vehicle technology. Uncertainty about regulations, insurance and liability have restricted testing of these vehicles, such as the University of Oxford's Wildcat (above), to closed, private roads.
It's expected that driverless vehicles will be tested on public roads in three cities next year, with the trial period running for between 18 and 36 months. The location of the trials have yet to be determined; cities need to lodge their expressions of interest by October. The winning cities will then split a 10 million pound ($18 million) fund that will cover costs.
The review launched by the business secretary will look specifically into changing Highway Code, and will consider two types of autonomous vehicle: one where a human can quickly take back control and another where there this no human driver.
Should the UK proceed with the planned trials, it will join a small number of jurisdictions that explicitly permit driverless vehicle testing on public roads. These include the US states of California, Nevada and Florida. Earlier this year Volvo began testing autonomous cars on the streets of its hometown, Gothenburg, while Nissan tested one its driverless cars on a Japanese highway last year.