Do you remember when you used to sit in awe as you watched movies with self-driving cars, completely mesmerized at this futuristic capability? You may have thought that one day, years down the road, our everyday vehicles would be able to accomplish such a feat, transporting us to our destinations in brand new ways. Well, the time is now, and with the emergence of more and more semi-autonomous vehicles on the road, you may be seriously considering buying one for yourself, but which car brands offer self-driving features? Many car manufacturers, like Tesla and GM are debuting their version of semi-autonomous cars, and along with them, Ford is tossing their hat into the ring as well, causing much interest in this famed automotive brand, well-known as one of the pioneers in modern transportation. If you’re thinking about visiting your local Ford dealer, you may want to check this new feature out.
About Ford Active Drive Assist
Ford features the Co-Pilot360 technology, which includes Active Drive Assist in its semi-autonomous vehicles, and before we delve too deep into this topic, it’s important to note that there isn’t a car that exists that’s completely self-driving. Semi-autonomous vehicles (note the word “semi” in the title) are vehicles that assist with your driving to varying degrees; however, you are still very much involved in this process. Ford’s technology utilizes a series of cameras and sensors to allow your vehicle to operate almost independently from you on over 100,000 miles of roadways across the U.S. and Canada. This hands-free driving feature allows drivers to stay more engaged and less distracted on whatever type of journey awaits, especially those on busy highways, which can cause a lot of unwanted stress. When you’re traveling on crowded roads, it helps to have a vehicle that is looking out for you at every moment.
The Ford Active Drive Assist technology is made possible by the use of Intelligent Cruise Control and Lane Centering features, which allow drivers to operate their vehicles hands-free on pre-mapped divided highways. In addition, the Active Drive Assist feature offers a driver-facing camera to track eye gaze, as well as head positioning to make sure that the driver remains alert and focused while operating in hands-free mode. With this advanced technology, drivers will be alerted if they need to resume control of the vehicle through prompts on their instrument panel or if their eyes stray from the road, as this is unsafe behavior and will not be allowed while operating in this semi-autonomous mode. Lane Centering mode is also available for any semi-autonomous Ford vehicle that is traveling on any roadway with lines, as its sensors are able to keep the vehicle on track easily.
With many pre-mapped roadways already part of the program, it’s to be expected that more and more Ford vehicles will receive this upgrade through Ford Co-Pilot360, which also includes driver-assist features, like Blind Spot Monitoring, Pre-Collision Assist, and more. When it comes to making your ride better and you more focused behind the wheel, Ford’s Active Drive Assist technology showcases the latest innovations in the industry, which only adds to Ford’s forward-thinking methods and revolutionary strides that it has made over the past century.
Which Ford Vehicles Have Active Drive Assist?
Not every Ford vehicle will come equipped with the Active Drive Assist feature, but it’s to be expected that more and more of them will be included with this within the next several years. The all-new Mustang Mach-E is among the first offerings from Ford to be equipped with this hands-free driving experience. This all-electric crossover vehicle showcases fierce style and an impressive range, as well as all the latest tech features, including hands-free driving. Sensational and expertly designed, the Mach-E has been recognized as the 2021 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year, and it’s no surprise that with all of its contemporary features, that hands-free driving is included in this highly-awaited model.
Another Ford model that will be a part of the hands-free driving experience is the iconic F-150, a long-time legend in the automotive industry heralded as being an innovator throughout the decades. With intense capabilities and power, as well as unmatched performance and strength, the F-150 is one of the top trucks on the market today, utilized by workers and commuters alike who need to be able to get more out of their truck. When you want the most powerful pickup on the road, there’s a reason why more and more drivers are trusting in the F-150.
The Mach-E and the F-150 will get their hands-free upgrade via the Ford Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0 Prep Package, which will be available later this year. Not all models will include this feature standard, however, which means that depending on which model you’re interested in, you may have to add this feature separately for an additional fee. It’s expected that these vehicles will be off and running with this feature by the third quarter of 2021, so if you’re ready for a new Ford, now is the time to buy.
Ford vs. the Competition
So, how does Ford’s Active Drive Assist technology stack up against the competition? The Ford brand isn’t the only brand out there that’s offering this service, and it certainly won’t be the last either. Big names like Tesla and GM have introduced their versions of semi-autonomous vehicles, and when it comes to which offerings are better, there’s a definite competition taking place. Tesla’s Model 3 and Ford’s Mach-E have gone head-to-head in various industry showdowns already, even though the Mach-E isn’t officially available yet. And although Tesla’s offering is ready for purchase, Ford’s is seemingly more affordable, which is a big draw for those who are looking at price tags.
GM, on the other hand, is taking self-driving to a whole new level with its Cruise vehicles, making their testing debut in select areas of San Francisco. These autonomous vehicles claim to operate without the need for a driver but with advanced protocols in place to ensure maximum safety. Due to the fact that the Cruise program is still in its research and development phase, it’s unlikely this feature will be available to the masses anytime soon. What will be available from GM in the upcoming months, however, is its semi-autonomous feature in several of its vehicles via its Super Cruise technology. GM is aiming to offer Super Cruise technology in 22 of its vehicles by 2023, which is a lofty goal, and we’re looking forward to learning more about all the details.
When it comes to semi-autonomous driving capabilities, Ford, Tesla, and GM are all in line with each other, and as the year’s progress, it will be interesting to see how autonomous driving pans out. For now, we’re looking forward to the evolution of Ford’s Active Drive Assist, Tesla’s Autopilot, and GM’s Super Cruise technology, which is designed to amplify your travels, making them more enjoyable, safer, and more confident.
The Future of Self-Driving Technology
We can only speculate on what the future holds when it comes to semi-autonomous and autonomous driving, and as the competition gets steeper, only time will tell who will pull ahead. One thing is for sure, though. Ford has been a force in the automotive industry for over a century, evolving with the times and giving drivers what they want over and over again, and as various driver needs changed throughout the years, Ford consistently kept up with these ever-growing necessities. Few car manufacturers can boast that they’ve evolved the way Ford has, and as the world of traveling continues to advance, we just can’t wait to see how Ford steps up to the challenge.