Ford to start trialling driverless cars in UK in 2017 0

Ford will begin its driverless car trials on UK roads from early next year.

The company have also said that new research they have conducted has revealed people can already forecast life-changing differences that will be brought about by the introduction of autonomous cars.

The majority of people say the biggest benefit from the technology would come when commuting, or when going out for drinks with friends.

Thomas Lukaszewicz, manager of automated driving for Ford of Europe, said: “We have already announced plans to use an autonomous vehicle for a ride-sharing service in the US in 2021 and it is important that we extend our testing to Europe.

“Rules of the road vary from country to country here, traffic signs and road layouts are different and drivers are likely to share congested roads with cyclists.”

In a survey commissioned by car maker, featuring the responses of 5,000 adults, Eight in 10 said they would look forward to relaxing and enjoying the scenery, 72 per cent would talk on the phone, 64 per cent would use the time to eat with reading books or watching films close behind.

Most people felt time behind the wheel would be better spent catching up with friends and family, looking out the window or having a nap.

It could even spell the end of the ‘school-run’, with 16 per cent of parents saying they would let their children travel alone in a driverless car.

Mr Lukaszewicz said: “People are really beginning to think about exactly what autonomous vehicles could mean to their day-to-day lives.

“Many of us neglect time for ourselves and for our loved ones in the face of other demands. Self-driving cars will revolutionise the way we live, as well as the way we travel.”

On average, European drivers spend up to 10 days each year in their cars and earlier research showed people in big cities find their commute more stressful than their job.

The latest poll showed a preference for autonomous vehicles over traditional cars when it comes to going out for drinks and commuting – and nearly half thought driverless cars would be safer.

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