Ford, Lincoln to offer hands-free highway driving

Ford is beefing up its suite of highway safety features with the ability to change lanes, stay within lane markings and adjust speed around curves -- sans driver input.

The 2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E and 2023 Lincoln Corsair SUVs will be the automaker's first vehicles available with the new safety features. The features, called Ford BlueCruise 1.2 and Lincoln ActiveGlide 1.2, are part of an upgraded package and will eventually be available in other models.

Together, these features play a crucial role in the evolution of autonomous driving. Ford said it has been upgrading its map system so that the advanced driver assistance features work on more than 130,000 miles of divided highways.

The driver can activate hands-free lane change assist by tapping the turn signal. The system can also suggest when the vehicle should change lanes in slow-moving traffic, according to Ford.

In-lane repositioning helps the car stay within its lane “while subtly shifting it away from vehicles in adjacent lanes,” the automaker said in a statement.

The third element, predictive speed assist, adjusts the vehicle’s speed when approaching sharp curves. Ford said the system will signal the driver beforehand, avoiding abrupt changes in speed.

The next-generation Lincoln Corsair, which will make its debut at the Detroit Auto Show this week, adds blind spot assist to alert the driver when a person or object may not be visible. The SUV gets a larger, 13.2-inch touch screen and the automaker’s SYNC 4 infotainment system as part of its 2023 model year makeover.