What does Richard Parry-Jones, ex-Ford product development boss and current Automotive Council chairman, think about autonomous cars? 

Given that he was instrumental in transforming Fords into a decent steer, you might think that he’d be unenthusiastic about a car that drives itself. But no. “You just push a button,” he says, “and you do the driving.” 

What excites him is not so much the fact that you can do your emails while sitting in a traffic jam, or even cars that can run in tight-packed, high-speed streams along designated motorway lanes to instantly increase road capacity. Instead, it’s the duties the car can perform while there’s no-one in it. 

Your car can go to Ocado, he suggests, and pick up your groceries in the middle of the night. It can collect the kids from school or take your pet to the vet.