Ford introduced a set of driver assistance safety systems called Ford Co-Pilot360 as a standard feature in all new 2019 Ford cars, SUVs and trucks up to the F-150. This Co-Pilot360 suite featured an automatic emergency braking (AEB) system that includes pedestrian detection, blind spot information system with cross traffic alert, a lane keeping system, automatic headlight beam control and a rearview camera. The development of Co-Pilot360 is an outgrowth of Ford’s first lane-keeping system in 2012 to reduce unintentional lane drifting that is continually being improved with available driver assist options.
Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking
The 2018 Ford F-150 earned the Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway safety for its first automatic emergency braking system that year. By 2019, Ford began rolling out the new Edge with Co-Pilot360, including AEB and the standard safety suite mentioned previously. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Ford was one of 14 automakers equipping more than 75 percent of their 2019 vehicles with AEB.
The Pre-Collision Assist system scans for potential road hazards using front-mounted radar and camera technology. When Ford’s system detects a vehicle or pedestrian as a collision risk the driver is alerted with a row of red warning lights on the windshield. A warning message also appears in the driver’s information display. With continued risk the system pre-charges the brakes for an efficient stop. When the risk becomes imminent the system automatically brakes to avoid a collision.
With the introduction of the Mustang Mach-E, Ford included the new Intersection Assist system. It uses the same radar and camera technology utilized by the Pre-Collision Assist and the Automatic Emergency Braking to detect oncoming traffic when making left turns. The automatic emergency braking system is now standard on over 90 percent of new Ford vehicles in North America, putting Ford ahead of the NHTSA goal of 100 percent of light duty vehicles with AEB by 2022. With 62 percent of new 2022 Ford E-Series, F-650, F-750 and even the F-59 chassis trucks with hydraulic brakes featuring AEB and hill start assist as standard that also can be equipped with Pre-Collison Assist and other driver assist options, Ford is out in front of the 2025-26 100 percent heavy duty vehicle AEB goal.
Blind Spot Monitor with Cross Traffic Alert
Ford’s Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) uses radar sensors in the rear bumper fascia on each side of the vehicle to detect vehicles in the driver blind zone. The driver blind zones extend from both exterior mirrors to about 10 feet back of the bumper. Any motion in those zones triggers a yellow alert indicator on the corresponding mirror.
The BLIS immediately activates the Cross Traffic Alert Mode when the driver shifts the vehicle into reverse. The same rear bumper radar sensors are used to detect vehicles as far as 45 feet away. If any cross traffic is detected the driver is alerted with an illuminated yellow alert indicator in the corresponding mirror, a series of tones and a warning message in the driver’s information display. And, the Automatic Emergency Braking system is activates if the danger persists.
Lane-Keeping System with Alert Intensity
Ford’s Lane-Keeping system uses a camera mounted on the backside of the vehicle’s center rearview mirror to monitor on-coming road lane markings and detect unintentional drifting. The Lane-Keeping system also does not interfere with intentional lane changes when the turn signal is in use, requiring drivers to signal they intend to change lanes.
The system is activated with the On/Off switch located at the end of the turn signal stalk. The switch remains in “On” for future starts until turned “Off.” The driver uses a five-way control on the left side of the steering wheel to adjust the mode settings shown in the message center of the instrument panel.
The Lane-Keeping system has three modes that can be found by selecting “Driver Assist,” then “Lane-Keeping System” and then “Mode.”
- Alert Mode – Automatically turns on when the vehicle is started with MyKey. The Alert Mode warns the driver when unintentional drifting is detected with three short steering wheel vibrations.
- Aid Mode – When unintentional drifting occurs the Aid Mode applies steering torque to help direct the vehicle back to the center of the lane.
- Both Modes – Both the Alert and Aid Modes are enabled.
Drivers of Ford vehicles with Lane-Keeping also can adjust strength on the steering vibrations by selecting “Driver Assist,” then “Lane-Keeping,” then “Alert Intensity.” The Alert Intensity settings are High, Normal and Low.
A vehicle icon with lane markings is displayed on the instrument cluster while driving. The color of the icon lane lines provide the driver with important information about the system. Gray lane lines mean the Lane-keeping system is currently unable to operate due to driving to slow, poor lane markings or bad weather conditions. Green lane lines in the icon mean the Lane-Keeping system is functioning properly. Yellow icon lane markings show the Aid Mode is triggered and applying corrective steering torque. Red lane lines in the icon indicate the Alert Mode is triggered and sending vibrations to the steering wheel.
Another enhancement to Co-Pilot360 in the Mach-E is the Road Edge Detection system that senses and alerts drivers when they drift out of the edge lane line or off rural roads with a clear edge of grass or dirt.
Automatic High Beams System Toggles High and Low
The Automatic High Beams system utilizes a camera mounted behind the rearview mirror to detect approaching lights as far away as 2,000 feet to automatically toggle between high and low beams. Headlights are dimmed whenever the system detects approaching headlights or taillights. The system self-activates at speeds above 25 miles per hour in low lighting situations.
Adaptive Cruise Control Becoming Intelligent
While Normal Cruise Control made driving less tiresome, Ford’s Adaptive Cruise Control eliminates the need for constantly re-adjusting the cruise speed. Adaptive cruise systems automatically slow the vehicle down to maintain a safe distance from slower-moving vehicles ahead of yours. When the traffic speeds up the system returns to your designated speed like Normal Cruise Control.
Activating the Ford Adaptive Cruise Control is done by pressing the “On” button (A green cruise icon lights up on the information display.), so you can accelerate and press the “Set” button. The gap distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you can be chosen by pressing the up and down arrows on your steering wheel cruise control switch. The top short solid arrow will decrease the distance and the longer arrow below will increase the distance. One bar is shortest available following distance and four bars indicate the longest spacing from your vehicle.
Adaptive Cruise Control can be cancelled by stepping on the brake or pressing the cancel button. Drivers can also switch cruise controls by using the arrow pad to select “Driver Assist,” then “Cruise Control” and choosing either “Adaptive” or “Normal.”
An improvement to the Co-Pilot360 in the new Ford Mustang Mach-E includes the new Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, featuring a Stop and Go system that slows the vehicle to a stop if traffic is stopped ahead and resumes driving if the stop is 30 seconds or less. The Speed Sign Recognition system has also been added to the updated Co-Pilot360 to reduce “heavy foot” driving.
Enhanced Active Park Assist Relieves Stress
The constantly improving Ford Enhanced Active Parking Assist system helps take the stress out of parallel parking and reverse perpendicular parking for many drivers. Ford vehicles with Co-Pilot360 can activate the parking system by pressing the Active Park Assist button (labeled with a P and steering wheel icon) next to the vehicles shift lever. The vehicle must be going slower that 22 miles per hour to activate Active Park Assist, and the system can be cancelled instantly by grabbing the steering wheel or pressing the Active Park Assist button again.
Using the turn signal on the side you want to park for parallel parking informs the system to start looking for available parking places. The system chimes and displays a “Spot Found” when an appropriate space is found. Clear instructions are then provided on the screen about when to accelerate, shift and brake as the vehicle steers itself into place.
For reverse perpendicular parking the driver simply presses the Active Park Assist button twice. Again, activating the turn signal on the side you want to look for parking will start the scanning process leading to the chime, “Spot Found” message and the step-by step instructions for the driver to follow.
With the latest adaptation of the Advanced Active Park Assist in the Mustang Mach-E, the driver simply holds a button that allows the vehicle to take control of the parallel and perpendicular parking. This new version also has Park Out Assist with side-sensing technology to help drivers move out of tight spots after other drivers park to close.
Active Drive Assist Improves Vehicle Control
Ford is in the final development stages of adding the Active Drive Assist option to Co-Pilot360. This hands-free driving technology will be useful on more than 100,000 miles of divided highways in the United States and Canada. Early Mustang Mach-E owners who order the Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0 Prep Package (with camera-radar hardware) will be offered the Active Drive Assist software update later in 2021. Active Drive Assist also will be made available in select 2021 model year Ford vehicles.
While the evolution of Ford’s hands-free Active Drive Assist grants the driver more comfort and helps relieve stress, it still requires the driver to pay attention to the road. An infrared driver-facing camera tracks the eye gaze and head position to ensure the driver pays attention to the road while in the Hands-Free Mode and Lane Centering Mode. The system informs the driver with visual warning prompts in the instrument panel when he or she needs to regain attention to the road or take control of the wheel. And, if the driver remains inattentive, the Active Drive Assist system will slow the vehicle down until the driver regains focus on the road because the driver remains responsible for vehicle control.
Extensive testing of Active Drive Assist, Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control and other Co-Pilot360 systems is still ongoing in all parts of the country under snow, rain, cloudy, bright sun, dark nights, highway, country road, heavy traffic, curvy road and open road conditions. Based on past Co-Pilot360 advances, Ford’s extensive research will potentially lead to even more enhancements in providing drivers greater comfort and safety while improving the control of their vehicles.
Ford Protect Extended Service Plans Become A Necessity
With all of this new electronic driver control technology it becomes more important than ever to cover your expensive new or used Ford or Lincoln vehicle with a Ford Protect PremiumCare ESP warranty and a Premium Maintenance Plan specific for electric, hybrid, gas and diesel vehicles.
You may ask one our Zeigler Factory Plans experts to prepare a quote by providing your vehicle information in the Custom Quote section in the right column of this page. You also can obtain an instant quote for a service warranty or maintenance plan by using our Quick Quote Calculator on our Ford|Lincoln Protect site.