Ford has announced that the company will begin testing autonomous vehicles on European roads next year, ahead of its deadline to introduce ride-sharing fleets in 2021.
According to the TechCrunch website, Ford will begin it will be testing autonomous cars beginning at its research and engineering centre at Dunton in Essex as well as in Aachen and Cologne in Germany. It adds that the company said it’ll also have more to share about its specific European testing plans in the future, but noted that these facilities are already well-versed in Ford’s current and future driver-assist tech efforts, and so will be well-positioned to lead the autonomous driving efforts in Europe as well.
Meanwhile the company has issued the results of a survey it commissioned which suggests many Europeans felt time behind the wheel would be better spent catching up with nearest and dearest, gazing out the window, or having a nap.
It adds this could even spell the end of the “school-run mum” – as 16% would let kids travel alone.
“People are really beginning to think about exactly what autonomous vehicles could mean to their day-to-day lives,” said Thomas Lukaszewicz, manager, Automated Driving, Ford of Europe. “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.”
(The picture shows a Ford autonomous vehicle being tested in the US)