System to allow drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel on certain mapped routes
Infrared camera to monitor driver to ensure eyes stay on the road
Semi-autonomous function to only be available on cars equipped with an optional Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0 Prep Package
Ford has revealed that its all-electric Mustang Mach-E will receive a semi-autonomous hands-free driving function. The system, called Active Drive Assist, is expected to make its way into the Mach-E in the latter half of 2021. Unveiled back in late-2019, the Mach-E is Ford’s first bespoke electric SUV and a direct rival to the Tesla Model Y in international markets.
What will the system allow?
Under the system, the car will be able to effectively drive itself on certain mapped routes, allowing drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel. However, the company says that the system will continuously monitor the driver via an infrared camera inside the cabin, to ensure they keep their eyes on the road. On the chance the driver is distracted from the road ahead, the system will ask the driver to retake full control of the vehicle.
Ford says the software for the system will become available as an over-the-air (OTA) software update on models equipped with the optional Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0 Prep Package. The optional package consists of the necessary hardware – like extra radar sensors and infrared cameras within the cabin – required for the system to function. The hands-free driving function will initially only be functional on highways in the US and Canada.
Also part of the package will be Ford’s Active Park Assist 2.0 that allows the vehicle to park itself.
What other autonomous features will the car get?
Aside from the hands-free driving and park assist, the Mach-E will also be equipped with lane change assist and intersection assist functions. The lane change assist will be capable of overriding the driver’s inputs if it detects a fast approaching vehicle in the next lane, while the intersection assist can autonomously apply the brake if it detects a fast approaching vehicle.
Will it be available in India?
While the Mach-E is expected to arrive in India sometime next year, it isn’t known if this option will be made available here. The Mach-E will arrive as a CBU import. The all-electric SUV's launch will be preceded by the Mustang facelift, which is expected to arrive later this year.
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