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Ford’s manager of global consumer trends and futuring, Sheryl Connelly, has said the company will continue to offer cars for enthusiasts in the face of the wider adoption of autonomous vehicles.

Speaking to the UK’s Autocar, Connelly said: “We remain committed in future to models where autonomous driving makes sense and others where it does not”.

“Autonomous is a spectrum of technologies with assisted driving, like adaptive cruise control, at one end – and full hands-off driving at the other.”

ford-mondeo-fusion_autonomous-driverless_01
Above: Ford’s driverless Fusion (Mondeo)

The company’s research has shown that nations like India and China are very enthusiastic about self-driving technology, while markets like the US and UK still prefer to take the wheel.

Connelly added that autonomous vehicles will offer groups like young people and the elderly a safe alternative to public transport when commuting in cities and rural areas.

“Parents might prefer to have their teens in a self-driving car than in an Uber being driven by a stranger,” she said. “Autonomous vehicles could [also] be a wonderful solution for an ageing population. Today, people retire by 65 years [old].”

“That might be only a third of their life in the future. How are they going to get around?” she added.

All-new Ford GT '66 Heritage Edition with unique black and silver-stripe livery celebrates 1966 Le Mans-winning GT40 Mark II race car driven by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon
Above: Ford GT

While Ford has demonstrated its ongoing commitment to driverless technology – the company recently revealed plans to launch a driverless taxi fleet in just five years time – the news that driver’s cars like the Focus RS and Ford GT will live on is music to our ears.

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