Driverless cars, drones and a commercial spaceport all featured in the Queen's Speech.

Over the next 12 months the Government will bid to ensure the UK is "at the forefront of technology" with its proposals for a Modern Transport Bill.

It hopes to reduce congestion and make "more efficient use of our roads, railways and airspace" to boost the economy.

Ministers claim the Bill will make the UK a world leader for autonomous and driverless vehicle ownership.

It aims to encourage investment in the technology and ensure appropriate insurance is available to support the use of such vehicles.

James Dalton, director of general insurance policy at the Association of British Insurers, said: "Insurers are already working on how to shape the right framework to keep insurance as simple and straightforward as possible for the future of driving.

"The transition from conventional vehicles to a world where drivers become passengers will be the trickiest stage but insurers are committed to supporting the roll-out of this important technology."

Trials of automated and driverless cars are currently taking place in Bristol, Greenwich, Milton Keynes and Coventry.

The Bill also features proposals to ensure the safe use of technology in the drone, autonomous car and space industries.

There have been dozens of reports of near misses involving drones and airliners near airports in recent months, leading to calls for unmanned aircraft to be licensed.

Last month a drone was believed to have collided with a British Airways flight landing at Heathrow, although it later emerged it may have been a false alarm.

A study by research firm the Teal Group estimated that drone production will soar from the current level of £2.8 billion annually to £9.7 billion, totalling £65 billion in the next 10 years. Military drone research would boost this figure to £85 billion over the decade.

The Government is aiming to have an operational spaceport by 2018, which could be used to launch tourists into space as well as commercial satellites.

In March last year six possible locations were announced. They are Campbeltown, Argyll and Bute, Glasgow Prestwick in South Ayrshire and Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland, as well as Newquay in Cornwall and Llanbedr in North Wales. RAF Leuchars in Fife was also confirmed as a potential temporary facility.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "Driverless cars and commercial space flight might seem like something science fiction, but the economic potential of the new technology is huge and I am determined the UK gets maximum benefit.

"If we want to propel Britain's economy into the modern age, and generate the jobs that will come with it, it is vital that the right rules are in place to allow new transportation to flourish.

"Having a long-term economic plan that really works for the country means putting in place legislation that puts us at the heart of the modern transport revolution."

Motoring organisations welcomed the proposals on autonomous vehicles.

AA president Edmund King said: "Today's Queen Speech hopefully moves us closer to answering the key question: who is liable if a driverless car is involved in a collision.

"Is it the driver who was behind the wheel, the manufacturer that designed the technology, the insurance company or the highways authority that set up the road environment the car had to negotiate?

"The insurance industry is best placed to measure the risk and set the parameters for driverless car use and we welcome the Government opening up the means to do this."

Neil Greig of IAM RoadSmart said: "We are excited about the potential safety benefits of new technology particularly when linked to better drivers.

"A semi-autonomous car that can help reduce the impact of human error is a win-win combination. Drivers do want to maintain the right to drive and it will be years before the full benefits of autonomy can be felt."

But Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, claimed the "most striking" aspect of the Queen's Speech for motorists was the lack of any mention of moves to ring-fence vehicle excise duty to pay for major roads.

"The wait goes on for a legislative, set-in-stone commitment," he added.

Jim McAuslan, general secretary of the British Airline Pilots Association, described the introduction of drone legislation as "a sensible thing to do" in the wake of recent incidents involving passenger aircraft.

He added: "Our focus is ensuring the safety of passengers and people on the ground while recognising the huge potential commercial benefits of this new technology."

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Alistair Carmichael said he was pleased the Government "have finally woken up to this issue".

The Orkney and Shetland MP went on: "This Bill must end the alphabet soup of agencies that have partial control on this area. Our safety cannot be put at risk because ministers don't want to step on each other's toes."