Ford’s hands-free system will be available on over 100,000 miles of highways in the States and Canada

Ford has gotten noticeably aggressive in the last couple of years. Apart from the regular updates in its lineup, the company is working on its most-important product, the Ford F-150, as well as developing the most-anticipated return of the year, the Bronco, simultaneously. Recently, the company took a dig at Jeep Wrangler by calling the Bronco superior, and now it is picking a fight with Tesla by competing directly with the Model Y in offering hands-free driving on the Mustang Mach-E from next year.

What Is Ford’s Hands-Free System?

Ford’s hands-free system will essentially drive the car on its own as long as you’re vigilant and are ever ready to take back the control from it.

The Active Drive Assist is essentially an evolution of the Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane-Centering technologies.

Ford says it’ll have the ability to stay engaged in bumper-to-bumper traffic as well. It will be offered as standard on a few trims of the Mach-E and available as optional on the others. You can order the Active Drive Assist hardware on the Mach-E as part of the Ford Co-Pilot 360 Active 2.0 Prep Package. Once the technology is released, sometime in the second half of 2021, you will receive it via an over-the-air update or you can get it installed at the dealership.

Ford Mach-E And Hands-Free Driving - Safer Than Your Typical Mustang Driver?
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This system will be a part of Ford’s Co-Pilot360 driver-assistance package. The Mach-E will be the first vehicle to receive it. Than hands-free Active Drive Assist will join a growing list of rival systems, like Tesla’s Autopilot and GM’s Super Cruise. Ford said that the system will enable hands-free driving on over 100,000 miles of highways in the States and Canada. The Co-Pilot360 driver-assistance package will also include Active Park Assist, Road Edge Detection, and Blind-Spot Assist. Ford also added that it has tested the technology for over 650,000 miles.

There’s A Big Brother Watching You

Ford Mach-E And Hands-Free Driving - Safer Than Your Typical Mustang Driver?
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Speaking with Roadshow, Darren Palmer, Ford’s global director for battery electric vehicles, said that it takes people around seven minutes to really begin trusting the system. After that, they start to do other things. By the way, there will be a camera monitoring your actions. Camera monitoring was recommended by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) earlier this year. The system will make sure you’re looking ahead and are ready to take control of the car.

If the system finds you not paying attention, it will warn you a few times. If you don’t respond, the car will slow down and stop in its lane.

Where Does The Mustang Brand Go From Here?

Ford Mach-E And Hands-Free Driving - Safer Than Your Typical Mustang Driver?
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On a different note, this seems to an evolving phase for Mustang as well. ‘Mustang’ is perceived as a muscle car brand since its inception. But the automaker is heavily working on the Mustang moniker now. It launched its first-ever all-electric vehicle and slapped it with the Mustang badge. News of converting the Mustang into a sub-brand has also surfaced. Most recently, Ford revealed the new Mustang Mach-1, the first one in 17 years.

Ford Mach-E And Hands-Free Driving - Safer Than Your Typical Mustang Driver?
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Imagining Mustang as a conservative, environment-conscious badge feels like a hard pill to swallow. But, it seems essential for its long-term survival. Perhaps, that is why Ford prefixed ‘Mustang’ to its first pure EV, the Mach-E. Now the company is also breaking the shackles by offering a hands-free driving experience on the Mach-E; or rather, on a Mustang. It sounds absurd and unacceptable at this point, but whether you like it or not, the Mustang is evolving with the changing times. If that’s what it’ll take for the Mustang brand to live long, so be it. Ford probably thinks of it as cutting the arm to save the body.

Final Thoughts

Ford Mach-E And Hands-Free Driving - Safer Than Your Typical Mustang Driver?
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This is a big step for Ford and its future. It made sense for the electric car to get this first before it trickles down to the other models as well. The company has also invested in Argo AI, a self-driving system company, along with Volkswagen. Both these companies are said to be substantial majority shareholders in Argo AI, which is valued at $7 billion. So, you could see more of such stuff in the future.

What are your thoughts on this system? Let us know in the comments section below.

Ford Mach-E Performance
Battery Type Drive Type Performance Horsepower and torque
Select Standard Range Rear-Wheel Drive 255 HP / 306 LB-FT
Select Standard Range All-Wheel Drive 255 HP / 417 LB-FT
Premium Standard Range Rear-Wheel Drive 255 HP / 306 LB-FT
Premium Standard Range All-Wheel Drive 255 HP / 417 LB-FT
Premium Extended Range Rear-Wheel Drive 282 HP / 306 LB-FT
Premium Extended Range All-Wheel Drive 332 HP / 417 LB-FT
First Edition Extended Range All-Wheel Drive 332 HP / 417 LB-FT
California Route 1 Extended Range Rear-Wheel Drive 282 HP / 306 LB-FT
GT Performance Extended Range All-Wheel Drive 459 HP / 612 LB-FT

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/samabu...

Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
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