Ford to offer hands-free driving in 2021 - six years after Tesla

18 June 2020 - 17:53 By Reuters
The electric Ford Mustang Mach-E is shown at AutoMobility LA on November 21 2019 in Los Angeles, California. The company on Thursday announced plans to offer hands-free driving on the latest model of the car.
The electric Ford Mustang Mach-E is shown at AutoMobility LA on November 21 2019 in Los Angeles, California. The company on Thursday announced plans to offer hands-free driving on the latest model of the car.
Image: David McNew/Getty Images

Ford Motor Co said on Thursday that it will offer hands-free driving on its new Mustang Mach-E in fall 2021 - six years after Tesla and four years after General Motors introduced similar systems.

The system, called Active Drive Assist, will be offered on several Ford models, most notably the Mustang Mach-E, an all-electric crossover vehicle that goes on sale later this year and is targeted at the Tesla Model Y market.

Ford said US buyers can order the Mustang Mach-E this autumn with the Active Driver Assist hardware package, which includes extra radar sensors and a driver-facing camera, but the software won't be ready until autumn 2021.

Tesla introduced its first semi-automated hands-free driver assist package, called Autopilot, in 2015. GM followed two years later with a similar semi-automated feature called Super Cruise on the Cadillac CT6.

Tesla has constantly revised and updated Autopilot and now offers the feature across its entire four-model range. GM is expanding Super Cruise to other Cadillac models this autumn and will offer an enhanced version to other GM brands over the next three years.

Ford said the Active Drive Assist software can be installed when ready next year through a wireless over-the-air update, similar to how some computer software programs are installed and mobile phone apps are updated. Tesla has offered over-the-air updates since 2012. 


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