Buyers interested in safety technologies

Drivers across Europe are showing an increasing appetite for the semi-autonomous technologies that are the building blocks of tomorrow’s cars, according to a new Ford Motor Company study on buying trends in Europe.

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.’

Ford earlier this year announced Ford Smart Mobility, the company’s plan to help change the way the world moves through innovation in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, customer experience and big data.

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.

In the US, a fleet of fully autonomous Ford Fusion Hybrid research vehicles, which mirrors the sensor and computing technology in Ford vehicles today, is undergoing further development and ongoing tests as Ford shifts its autonomous vehicle efforts from a research programme into an advanced engineering project.