Ford Motor Company announced its Ford Co-Pilot360 Technology, a collection of available driver-assist features, and adds new offerings including Active Drive Assist, that will allow for hands-free driving on more than 100,000 miles of divided highways in all 50 US states and Canada.
Active Drive Assist begins rolling out on select 2021 model year Ford vehicles and will be available across the Mustang Mach-E lineup. For those customers among the first to order a Mustang Mach-E, Active Drive Assist hardware will be available as part of the Ford Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0 Prep Package at time of purchase.
Ford plans to give customers who purchase the prep package the opportunity to purchase Active Drive Assist software and receive the feature at a Ford dealer or via an over-the-air update expected in the third quarter of 2021. “The stress of long highway drives remains a huge issue for drivers around the world,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s chief product development and purchasing officer. “By introducing driver-assist technologies like Active Drive Assist, Ford’s version of hands-free driving, we’re allowing our customers to feel more confident whenever they’re behind the wheel.”
Active Drive Assist is the next evolution of Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centring from Ford, adding a first-for-Ford Hands-Free Mode with the potential for more enhancements in the future. Hands-Free Mode allows drivers on certain sections of pre-mapped, divided highways to drive with their hands off the steering wheel – if they continue to pay attention to the road ahead – granting them an additional level of comfort during long drives.
An advanced infrared driver-facing camera will track eye gaze and head position to ensure drivers are paying attention to the road while in Hands-Free Mode as well as hands-on Lane Centring Mode, which works on any road with lane lines. Drivers will be notified by visual prompts on their instrument cluster when they need to return their attention to the road or resume control of the vehicle.
“Introducing Active Drive Assist with a driver-facing camera makes perfect sense because the vehicle helps relieve the stress and burden of driving but still leaves you fully in control,” said Thai-Tang. “And if you lose focus on the road ahead, Active Drive Assist will automatically warn and potentially slow the vehicle down until you’re ready to focus back up.”
The Ford Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0 Prep Package also includes Active Park Assist 2.0, the latest iteration of park-assist technologies to give drivers some peace of mind when parking their Mustang Mach-E. With Active Park Assist 2.0, simply holding a button will allow the vehicle to take control of parking in parallel and perpendicular spaces. It also offers Park Out Assist with side-sensing capability so drivers can navigate out of a parking spot when someone has parked too close.
This article courtesy of Russell Thrall III, publisher CollisionWeek. Check out their website at: www.collisionweek.com.