Ford Motor Co., seeking to steal shoppers from Tesla Inc. and General Motors Co., is aiming to install its hands-free driving technology on 100,000 vehicles in its first year.
The carmaker will introduce its Active Drive Assist system in late 2021 as a $1,595 option on the redesigned F-150 pickup and a $3,200 option on the electric Mustang Mach-E, Ford said in a statement. The system will be a standard feature on top-of-the-line versions of these models.
Ford claims its prices give it an edge over rivals. Tesla’s AutoPilot driver-assist system is standard on all its vehicles, but its Full Self-Driving Capability feature is $10,000. GM’s Cadillac unit said Super Cruise is part of a $4,000 safety package that also costs $25 a month.
Ford said it expects its pricing will lead to 100,000 orders for the technology on the F-150 and Mach-E in the first full year on the market. Active Drive Assist allows drivers to take their hands off the wheel while keeping their eyes on the road. It works on about 100,000 miles of North American highways Ford has mapped.
Tesla popularized driver-assistance systems, which now are offered on a variety of models from other companies. The technology is controversial, however, because it allegedly has been involved in deadly crashes.
“Active Drive Assist can help improve the driving experience while ensuring people remain aware and fully in control,” Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s product-development chief, said in the statement.