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Ford to start testing autonomous cars on European roads next year

Ford is to begin European testing of autonomous cars in 2017, expanding on its existing research in the US.

Autonomous Ford vehicles on test

Ford has been testing its fully autonomous Fusion Hybrid Research Vehicles at the Mcity facility at the University of Michigan.

The carmaker has already been testing autonomous vehicles for over 10 years, including at the Mcity full-scale simulated real-world urban environment at the University of Michigan, and earlier this year it established its Ford Smart Mobility (FSM) subsidiary to develop in-car connectivity, ride-sharing and autonomous technologies.

This year also saw Ford triple its autonomous vehicle test fleet to about 30 self-driving Fusion Hybrid sedans on the roads in California, Arizona and Michigan – said to be the largest test fleet of any automaker – with plans to triple it again next year.

Thomas Lukaszewicz, manager, automated driving, 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.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.