The 2015 UK Budget included a GBP100m (US$147m) five-year funding programme for connected and autonomous car development.

The chancellor also announced a doubling of UKTI funding for exporters to China.

SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes, said: "The GBP100m injection into connected car research, development and testing – to be matched by industry - will provide a vital boost to the UK automotive industry and put us ahead in the global race to build the cars of the future.

"It is tremendous news that government has adopted SMMT and industry’s call for this investment – it lays the foundations for the UK to become a centre of excellence in intelligent mobility, and underlines the importance of automotive engineering to the UK economy."

"In addition, we’re pleased that government has recognised the importance of China which is now the automotive industry’s biggest export market. Sales of British-built cars there have grown seven-fold in the past five years. This funding will help us to further capitalise on this opportunity, and strengthen the significant work SMMT is doing to grow the UK automotive presence in China."