Ford to test driverless cars in UK
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Car giant Ford is to start testing driverless cars on UK roads next year.
And in new research the company said many people can already forecast life-changing differences self-driving cars will make.
Most people say driverless cars will have the biggest benefit when commuting and going out for drinks with friends.
Ford said testing of so-called autonomous cars will start in early 2017.
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.'
A survey of 5,000 adults by Ford showed how drivers would spend the time in self-driving cars.
Eight in 10 said they would look forward to relaxing and enjoying the scenery, 72 per cent would chat on a phone, 64 per cent would have a bite to eat with enjoying books and movies close behind.
Most people felt time behind the wheel would be better spent catching up with nearest and dearest, gazing out the window or taking a nap.
It could even spell the end of the 'school-run mum', with 16 per cent of parents saying they would let 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.
- Daily Mail