Ford Active Drive Assist Promises Hands-Free Driving By 2021
Ford Co-Pilot360TM technology adds hands-free driving, live updates and more to help Ford customers feel more relaxed and confident
• Ford Co-Pilot360TM technology – a full collection of available driver assistance features – adds to and enhances offerings, including Active Drive Assist, which enables hands-free driving on more than 100,000 miles of divided roads the 50 states and Canada
• The optional active driving assistance is supplemented by an advanced driver-oriented camera, which tracks the position of the head and the driver’s eyes, even with most sunglasses
• The fully electric Mustang Mach-E is the first opportunity for customers to order the Ford Pre-Pilot360TM Active 2.0 Prep Package which includes camera and radar hardware with the option to purchase Active Drive Assist separately as an update live software next year
• Ford engineers and test drivers have accumulated more than 650,000 miles of technology tests such as adaptive cruise control and blind spot information system with cross traffic alert to ensure these features based on radars and cameras operate in as many scenarios as possible.
Dearborn, MI – June 18, 2020 – Ford Co-Pilot360TM technology – a full collection of available driver assistance features – adds new offerings, including Active Drive Assist, enabling hands-free driving on over 100,000 freeway miles divided in total 50 the states and Canada.
“The stress of long road trips remains a major problem for drivers around the world,” said Hau Thai-Tang, director of product development and purchasing at Ford. “By introducing driver assistance technologies like Active Drive Assist, the Ford version of hands-free driving, we are making our customers feel more confident when driving.”
Active Drive Assist is the next evolution of intelligent adaptive cruise control with lane centering
from Ford, adding a first hands-free mode for Ford with the possibility of further improvements in the future.
Hands-free mode allows drivers on certain divided and pre-mapped highway sections to drive with their hands off the wheel – if they continue to pay attention to the road ahead – giving them an extra level of comfort during long rides journeys.
An advanced driver-oriented infrared camera will follow the gaze and head position to ensure drivers pay attention to the road in hands-free mode as well as in convenient lane centering mode, which works on any which 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 regain control of the vehicle.
“Introducing Active Drive Assist with a driver-facing camera makes perfect sense, as the vehicle helps relieve stress and the burden of driving, but still leaves you in total control”
Thai-Tang. “And if you lose your focus on the road ahead, the Active Drive Assist will automatically warn and potentially slow the vehicle until you are ready to focus.”
Active Drive Assist is starting to be deployed on select Ford vehicles of the 2021 model year and will be available across the Mustang Mach-E lineup.
For customers who are among the first to order a Mustang Mach -E, Active Drive Assist equipment will be available as part of the Ford Co-Pilot 360 Active 2.0 Prep Package at the time of purchase.
Ford plans to give customers who purchase the prep package the ability to purchase Active Drive Assist software and receive functionality at a Ford dealer or through a live update scheduled for the third quarter of 2021.
The Ford Co-Pilot 360 Active 2.0 Prep Package also includes Active Park Assist 2.0, the latest version of parking assist technology to give drivers peace of mind when parking their Mustang Mach-E. With Active Park Assist 2.0, a push of a button will allow the vehicle to easily take control of parking in parallel and perpendicular spaces. It also offers parking assistance with lateral detection capability so that drivers can safely exit a parking space when someone is parked too close.
The Mustang Mach-E Ford Co-Pilot360 2.0 standard package includes two improvements to Ford’s lane keeping system: roadside detection and blind spot assistance.
Roadside detection can increase driving confidence in rural areas by detecting the edges of a lane with visible lines or a road with a clear edge, such as grass or dirt. Technology can then alert the driver if the vehicle starts to get out of the lane or off the road. Blind Spot Assist identifies vehicles in a blind spot with a light on the side mirror, then elbows the vehicle’s steering system to help warn of a dangerous action.
The updated lane keeping system joins the automatic headlights, the blind spot information system with transverse traffic alert, pre-collision assistance with automatic emergency braking, post-collision braking, rear view camera, rear brake assist and reverse detection system as technologies. on the standard Mustang Mach-E Ford Co-Pilot360 2.0 package.
On the Mustang Mach-E Ford Co-Pilot 360 Assist 2.0, the standard package is a step forward in intelligent adaptive cruise control with Stop and Go, which slows down a vehicle if the traffic ahead has stopped or slowed down, bringing the vehicle at a complete stop before resuming traffic begins to move.
Previously, technology required reactivation of the driver after stopping a vehicle for three seconds, the advancement now resumes driving if stopped for 30 seconds maximum. The intelligent adaptive cruise control also includes recognition of speed signs.
Intersection Assist uses camera and radar sensor technology used by pre-collision assistance with automatic emergency braking to detect oncoming traffic while trying to turn left. If there is a risk of collision with an oncoming vehicle, the vehicle can alert the driver and apply the brakes.
Standard and available packages vary by nameplate, and these packages will be announced closer to the sale dates for 2021 model year vehicles.
Ford has tested Active Drive Assist to create a driving experience that customers can trust – an experience that is actually hands-free as long as the driver-facing camera can monitor the position of the head and the look instead of relying solely on monitoring the driver’s attention through the steering wheel handle, as do other systems.
Ford has submitted its Active Drive Assist test vehicles to the Mother of All Road Trips, exposing its sensors to snow, rain, bright sun, dark nights, traffic jams and open roads for hundreds of thousands of kilometers to United States, Canada and Europe in an attempt to expose the sensors to a variety of extremely specific scenarios – or gray areas – so that the technology is also ready to handle the range of real conditions that drivers face on a daily basis .
“Our team has aggressively tested Active Drive Assist to bring something to the lives of our customers they can trust,” said Justin Teems, functional manager of Active Drive Assist. “We are going to places far away from the United States and Canada – from Florida to California, Quebec to Texas, Wyoming and Idaho – to try to stimulate these rare case sensor measures that we might not find nowhere else, capturing data in a number of different ways. “