Ford Co-Pilot360 Technology adds hands-free driving
Ford has added new offerings to its advanced driver-assist system, Co-Pilot360. New offerings include Active Drive Assist, which allows for hands-free driving on more than 100,000 miles of divided highways in all 50 states and Canada.
Active Drive Assist is the company's Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering. The Hands-Free Mode allows drivers on certain sections of pre-mapped, divided highways to drive with their hands off the steering wheel, if they continue to pay attention to the road ahead.
An advanced infrared driver-facing camera will track eye gaze and head position to ensure drivers are paying attention to the road while in Hands-Free Mode, as well as hands-on Lane Centering Mode, which works on any 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 resume control of the vehicle.
The technology begins rolling out on select 2021 model year vehicles and will be available across the Mustang Mach-E lineup. Active Drive Assist hardware will be available as part of the Ford Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0 Prep Package at time of purchase for those who are the first to order a Mustang Mach-E. This package includes Active Park Assist 2.0, which allows users to hold a button and the vehicle will take control of parking in parallel and perpendicular spaces, as well as Park Out Assist with side-sensing capability.
Mustang Mach-E’s Ford Co-Pilot360 2.0 standard package includes two enhancements to Ford’s Lane-Keeping System: Road Edge Detection and Blind Spot Assist.
According to the automaker, Road Edge Detection can increase driving confidence in rural areas by sensing the edges of a lane with visible lines or road with a clear edge, such as grass or dirt. The technology can then alert the driver if the vehicle is starting to drift out of the lane or off the road. Blind Spot Assist identifies vehicles in a blind spot with a light on the side view mirror, and then applies a nudge in the vehicle’s steering system to help provide caution against an unsafe action.
The updated Lane-Keeping System joins Auto High-Beam Headlamps, Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert, Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, Post-Collision Braking, Rear View Camera, Reverse Brake Assist, and Reverse Sensing System as technologies on the Mustang Mach-E Ford Co-Pilot360 2.0 standard package.
According to the automaker, the package is an advancement in Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go, which slows down a vehicle if the traffic ahead has stopped or slowed, bringing the vehicle to a complete stop before resuming as traffic begins to move. Previously the technology required driver reactivation after a vehicle is stopped for three seconds, the advancement now resumes driving if stopped for up to 30 seconds. It also includes Speed Sign Recognition.
Intersection Assist employs the camera and radar sensor technology used by Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking to detect oncoming traffic while attempting to turn left. If there’s a risk of a potential collision with an oncoming vehicle, the vehicle can alert the driver and apply the brakes.
Ford says its system is hands-free as long as the driver-facing camera can monitor head position and eye gaze instead of relying only on monitoring driver attention through steering wheel grip, as other systems do.
The automaker says it has subjected the test vehicles to a various driving conditions, exposing its sensors to snow, rain, bright sun, dark nights, traffic jams, and open roads over hundreds of thousands of miles across the U.S., Canada, and Europe in an attempt to expose the sensors to a variety of extremely specific scenarios, or gray areas.
“Our team has aggressively tested Active Drive Assist to bring something to our customers’ lives that they can trust,” said Justin Teems, Active Drive Assist Feature Lead. “We go to far-flung places around the U.S. and Canada – from Florida to California, from Quebec to Texas, Wyoming and Idaho—to try to stimulate those rare-case sensor measurements we might not get anywhere else, capturing data in a number of different ways.”
For more information, visit www.corporate.ford.com.