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Car buying research points to increasing desire for autonomous cars

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New European car buying research from Ford has shown an increasing desire for semi autonomous technologies and driver assistance systems.

Ford Car Buying Trends 2015 studied new car buying habits in 22 countries across Europe, highlighting regional trends and national differences. The study showed significant increases in the number of cars with technologies that help drivers to park, avoid collisions, and maintain set speeds and distances from vehicles ahead.

“While manufacturers including Ford are working toward autonomous vehicles, our customers are already embracing many of the smart technologies that make driving and parking easier and safer,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, marketing, sales and service, Ford of Europe.

“We are seeing increasing demand for features that relieve the stresses of driving, and make it more enjoyable – for example, people have very quickly become accustomed to systems that help them to find a suitable parking space and reverse into it.”

The car manufacturer has seen increased take-up of safety systems in its cars over the last year.

Active Park Assist uses sensors and the vehicle’s steering system to help drivers identify a suitable space and steer in to it, and was fitted to more than one in three Ford cars in Europe, up from 28 per cent compared with the previous year.

Active City Stop can help reduce the severity of rear-end collisions by a braking if a driver does not respond to slowing traffic ahead. In the past year more than one in eight (13 per cent) cars produced were equipped with the system, up from seven per cent compared with the previous year.

More than half of new Ford cars in Europe were equipped with some kind of cruise control technology, rising from 48 per cent to 52 per cent.

Ford has announced 25 global Ford Smart Mobility experiments – several of which are located in London and included projects that will test different ways of alleviating congestion in dense urban areas. The recently-announced GoDrive car-sharing service, for example, offers flexible, practical and affordable access to a fleet of cars for one-way journeys with easy parking throughout the city.

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