Ford eyes first-year sales of 100,000 vehicles with hands-free driving system


DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. said on Friday it expects to sell 100,000 cars and trucks equipped with the company’s new hands-free driving system in the first full year of availability.

The catch is, only the system hardware will be installed. The software will not be ready for nearly another year, Ford said.

The automaker’s Active Drive Assist will be offered first on the redesigned F-150 pickup and the new Mustang Mach-E electric crossover, both of which go on sale later this year. But the feature will not be activated until the third quarter of 2021, the company said.

Customers can order a Mach-E or an F-150 with the Co-Pilot360 advanced driver assistance package, which includes the hardware for Active Drive Assist. That feature will be switched on via a wireless over-the-air update when the software is finalized next year, Ford said.

Active Drive Assist will be standard on selected high-end models and available as an option on others, priced from around $1,500.

Consumer Reports earlier this week released results of its test of 17 vehicles equipped with active driving assistance systems, including a Tesla Model Y — a head-to-head competitor to the Mustang Mach-E — with Autopilot. The Model Y finished “a distant second” in the testing to a Cadillac CT6 fitted with General Motors’ Super Cruise system.

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