Those ordering Ford’s upcoming all-electric Mustang Mach-E will get to try the company’s enhanced Ford Co-Pilot360, giving drivers a hands-free driving option, as well as an array of driver-assistance features
First launched in 2018, Ford Co-Pilot360 offers a range of technologies such as automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitors, backup cameras, lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control.
Karen Sullivan, marketing communications manager for Ford Co-Pilot360 says drivers of the Mustang Mach-E – which is expected to be delivered to Canadians later this year – will notice several advancements to the current Ford Co-Pilot360 offering, the most significant being Active Drive Assist.
Active Drive Assist is an enhancement to Ford’s existing Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering that comes with the Co-Pilot360.
Chris Billman, engineering manger with Ford Co-Pilot360 adds Active Drive Assist will work on some 100,000 miles of pre-mapped divided highways in Canada and the U.S. allowing people to drive with “their hands off the steering wheel if they continue to pay attention to the road ahead.”
A set of infrared driver-facing cameras will monitor a driver’s eye movements and head position to make sure that while in Hands-Free Driving Mode the driver is paying attention to the road. Billman says the cameras will work in all kinds of lighting conditions and can see the driver’s eyes regardless if they are wearing sunglasses.If the driver becomes distracted, a set of visual prompts on the instrument cluster will notify them to return their attention to the road ahead or to take control of the vehicle, added Billman.
Ford extensively tested the technology over some 650,000 miles of highways across the United States in all kinds of weather conditions, many times with real customers behind the wheel.
Active Drive Assist will start to roll out to select 2021 model year Ford vehicles and will be available across the Mustang Mach-E line-up.
Other enhancements to the system are an upgraded adaptive cruise control. Where normally, the driver would have to press on the accelerator to get the car moving again after a three-second stop, Ford says that the car will move again after being stopped after 30 seconds once traffic starts moving again. An added bonus is that the system will also recognize road signs, adding to a more comfortable and relaxing driving experience according to Ford.
Active Drive Assist hardware will also be available as part of the Ford Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0 Prep Package and customers can then purchase the Active Drive Assist software and receive the feature either at a Ford certified dealer or via an over-the-air update expected through Wi-Fi in the third quarter of 2021.