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Ford to start testing autonomous cars on European roads next year

Ford announced it will begin European testing of autonomous cars in 2017, as a Ford-commissioned survey of 5,000 adults showed how drivers would spend the time in self-driving cars. 80% said they would look forward to relaxing and enjoying the scenery, 72% would chat on the phone, 64% would have a bite to eat, with enjoying books and movies close behind. (Survey conducted for Ford Motor Company in the UK, France, Germany, Norway and Spain by Penn Schoen Berland during November 2016.)

On average, European drivers spend up to 10 days each year in their cars and a previous survey showed people in major cities find their commute more stressful than their job. This 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.

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.

—Thomas Lukaszewicz, manager, Automated Driving, Ford of Europe


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