Ford Motor is extending the reach of its hands-free highway driving system to Lincoln’s entry-level Corsair crossover as the carmaker broadens the technology to more affordable cars.
The expansion of the system, known as ActiveGlide for Lincoln and BlueCruise for Ford, will make the Corsair the lowest-priced vehicle in the company to offer the technology. The Corsair will be the sixth vehicle in Ford’s lineup to offer the system and only the second Lincoln model, following the brand’s flagship Navigator SUV.
A plug-in hybrid electric edition of the Corsair will be available for a starting price of between $40,000 to $55,000. The crossover is currently available for purchase, and dealerships in the United States should start to receive deliveries in early 2023.
The technology is now available in Ford’s electric Mustang Mach-E, which starts at around $50,000 with the option. According to business officials, the technology will be available on all three of the Corsair’s trim levels.
“It was just a natural progression with Corsair being the volume sales leader,” Corsair brand manager Dan DeRubeis told CNBC this. “I think that’s the approach that we’ll continue to take with other programs into the future.”
In addition to lidar mapping, ActiveGlide and BlueCruise use a variety of cameras and sensors for hands-free driving across more than 130,000 miles of designated highways in North America. It manages the vehicle’s steering and speed while simultaneously keeping an eye on the driver’s focus with an infrared camera system.
More than 75,000 customers have signed up for the systems, according to Ford, and more than 16 million miles of hands-free driving had been completed as of the end of August.
The Super Cruise technology from General Motors and Ford’s systems are comparable, but Ford’s systems are less common and less effective in situations like turns, where the technology may need to relinquish steering control back to the driver.
The advanced driver-assistance systems from Tesla, such Autopilot or “Full-Self Driving,” have come under fire for over-promising hands-free functionality and allowing users to abuse the systems. Both the GM and Ford technologies are less capable than these systems.
No cars currently for sale are totally autonomous. Driver attentiveness is still necessary even with any driver assistance devices.
A number of improvements to the Corsair for the 2023 model year include the addition of ActiveGlide, which has lane-changing capabilities. Other modifications include new trim and color options, as well as exterior and interior design tweaks include a revised grill and 13.2-inch central touchscreen.
Ford presently offers its hands-free highway system on the Expedition SUV, the Lincoln Navigator, the Ford F-150 and Lightning pickup trucks, the Mustang Mach-E crossover, and the F-150 and Lightning.