Cadillac's Super Cruise has beaten Tesla's Autopilot feature in Consumer Report's ratings of current hands-free driving technology. However, another contender is up to join the fray quite soon.
Back in June of this year, Ford announced the arrival of its Active Drive Assist (ADA) system, promising hands-free driving by 2021. The Blue Oval wants to keep that promise alive and releases additional details about that self-driving feature, including pricing and availability in Ford vehicles.
In its previous announcement, the American automaker mentioned that the hands-free driving tech will be available in the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E and other models. As it turns out, America's best-selling Ford F-150 is that other model, which will be available for public use by the third quarter of next year.
The ADA system will be part of the Ford Co-Pilot 360 Active 2.0 package that's standard on F-150 Limited, while Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum buyers can have this as a $1,595 option.
On the other hand, the Mustang Mach-E will get this feature as standard on the CA Route 1, Premium, and First Edition variants. Those who opt for the Select trim can choose to add ADA by availing the Comfort and Technology package for $3,200.
Even better, those who will choose to add the feature as an option, even before it becomes available, can elect to add the Ford Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0 Prep Package. This means their vehicles will come with a forward-facing camera and radar sensors. When the ADA system becomes available by Q3 2021, these owners will just have to use over-the-air update to enable the tech in their cars.
The Ford Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0 Prep Package for the F-150 is priced at $895, inclusive of a $100 early adopter incentive. The over-the-air software update will cost owners $600, which comes with a three-year service period.
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Beyond the three-year service period, Ford said that owners have the option to purchase the "competitively priced connected service to continue enjoying Active Drive Assist and receive new improvements via Over-the-Air Update."
Ford's ADA system will work by utilizing the already-available Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control in tandem with Stop-and-Go Lane Centering and Speed Sign Recognition. The one at the helm will then be monitored by a driver-facing camera to make sure that the eyes are kept on the road. The ADA system only works on prequalified sections of divided highways called Hands-Free Zones, covering over 100,000 miles of North American roads.