Ford’s rival to Autopilot and Super Cruise: Priced, and coming to Mach-E electric SUV

Ford has announced a few more details about its upcoming Active Driver Assist technology, which will rival systems like GM’s Super Cruise and Tesla’s Navigate on Autopilot functionality.

Most notably, Ford has disclosed pricing for the feature, which will be rolled out in the third quarter of 2021, through an over-the-air update—initially on the Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUV and the Ford F-150 pickup. 

It will come standard on the Premium, First Edition, and California Route 1 versions of the Mustang Mach-E, while it’s offered on more affordable Select trims for $3,200, together with a 360-degree camera, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, as part of a Comfort and Technology package. On the F-150, the positioning is different and it’s standard only on top Limited versions but optional as part of a $1,595 package on Lariat, King Range, and Platinum models—all among the more expensive versions in the lineup.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Active Drive Assist

Ford Mustang Mach-E Active Drive Assist

Ford discloses up front that Active Drive Assist includes a three-year service period, after which owners can choose a “competitively priced connected service” to keep using it and getting OTA updates.

Like Super Cruise, which started as a Cadillac exclusive but is on the way to the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV, Active Drive Assist allows hands-free driving on “prequalified sections of divided highways.” Ford says that more than 100,000 miles of roads get that approval in North America. It works together with adaptive cruise control, lane centering, and speed sign recognition, and uses a driver-facing camera to study eye movements and head position to make sure the driver maintains attention.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Active Drive Assist

Ford Mustang Mach-E Active Drive Assist

The system uses advanced computing of camera and radar sensing data, and Ford hints that it will “enable the addition of more such zones in the future”—like two-lane highways, or suburban boulevards, perhaps.

The other piece of news accompanying this is that Ford plans to put Active Drive Assist capability in a lot of vehicles—right away. In the first year the feature is offered, it will go into more than 100,000 vehicles, the company projects.

There’s no need to wait for either of these vehicles to get the capability. Ford has said that the needed over-the-air capability will ship in all versions of the 2021 Mustang Mach-E—including the ones arriving later this fall.

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