Ford has announced that its Active Drive Assist system will allow drivers to get their hands off the wheel while driving.

The new technology will initially be available on about 160,000 kilometres of highways in the United States and Canada, and drivers will be warned when they enter the area where they can use the new function. The function will only be active if the video camera system detects that the driver remains alert on the road even when he does not have his hands on the steering wheel.

Ford will integrate the Active Drive Assist system into 100,000 units of the Mustang Mach-E electric SUV and the F-150 pickup trucks. The feature will be available through an over-the-air software update starting in the third quarter of 2021. The American manufacturer also mentioned that the feature will be standard on certain equipment levels or it can be purchased for about $ 3,200.

"As breakthroughs in new technology allow us to help reduce the stress of long highway drives, it’s important to make sure these capabilities can be enjoyed by the largest spread of people possible," said Hau Thai-Tang, chief product platform and operations officer, Ford Motor Company. "Active Drive Assist can help improve the driving experience while ensuring people remain aware and fully in control, all for a price unmatched by our competitors – a commitment to affordable innovations that has driven us since Henry Ford put the world on wheels."

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