How to use Active Drive Assist on Ford F-150 – self-driving feature

Active drive assist on Ford F-150 is a semi-autonomous system that keeps the vehicle centered in the lane when using adaptive cruise control. It allows owners to operate their vehicles autonomously, but you’re still required to place hands on steering wheel at all times.

Ford F-150 14th generation – (photo by Ford)

Active drive assist uses cameras to monitor your vehicle position within a lane and applies steering support to keep your vehicle centered in the lane. When active, active drive assist uses a driver facing camera and infrared lighting to monitor your eyes and head position to detect if you are distracted. If the system determines you are distracted, it alerts you to return your eyes to the road.


Enabling Active Drive Assist

Active drive assist can be enabled or disabled via the SYNC 4 infotainment system.

  1. Go to Features on the touchscreen.
  2. Select Driver Assistance.
  3. Select Cruise Control.
  4. Select Adaptive Cruise Control or Intelligent Cruise Control.
  5. Then switch Lane Centering on or off.
Lane Centering assist setting on SYNC 4 touchscreen – (Ford F-150 14th gen 2021+)

Once enabled, you can then switch on the active drive assist by pressing lateral support button on the steering wheel when adaptive cruise control is active.

When both systems are active, Active Drive Assist activates.

To turn off the system, press either the lateral support or adaptive cruise control button when system is active or in standby mode. Active drive assist turns off through each ignition cycle.

Requirements

Active drive assist only activates on Ford F-150 when all of the following occur:

  • Active drive assist is enabled in your information and entertainment screen.
  • Adaptive cruise control is on.
  • The system detects both lane markings.
  • Your hands are on the steering wheel.
  • Your eyes are on the road.

Indicators

When on, the color of the indicator changes to indicate the status. Gray indicates active drive assist is on but inactive. Green indicates active drive assist is active and applying continuous steering support.

A green Active Drive Assist symbol indicates that the system is active.

Which F-150 vehicles have Active Drive Assist?

Active drive assist is part of Ford Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0 Package and is a standard feature only on Limited variant. Its an optional feature on Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum. This feature is not available on XL and XLT.


Alerts

When active drive assist is providing hands-on driving and detects no steering activity for a certain period of time, the system alerts you to put your hands on the steering wheel.

When active drive assist is providing hands-on driving and detects you are not looking at the road for a certain period of time, the system alerts you to return your eyes to the road.

If you do not react to the warnings, active drive assist cancels, quickly activates and releases the brakes, and slows your vehicle down to low speeds while maintaining steering control.

If your vehicle slows down and you resume control, a message appears to prompt you to press the accelerator pedal to allow the system to resume.

Automatic cancellation

When an external condition cancels active drive assist, for example, no lane markings available, a tone sounds and a message appears in the instrument cluster.

If your vehicle starts to slow down, you must take control of steering and press and release the button to reactivate active drive assist.

System cancellation can also occur if:

  • The lane becomes too narrow.
  • The system cannot detect valid lane markings.
  • Lane markings are crossed.
  • Your eyes are not on the road or your hands are not the steering wheel.

If you have your hands on the steering wheel and your eyes are on the road when the feature is active and a cancellation occurs, the system sounds a tone and displays a cancelled graphic in the instrument cluster.

If you are not paying attention to the road or your hands are not on the steering wheel and a cancellation occurs, the system will display a message and a tone sounds until you resume control. If you do not resume control in time, active drive assist quickly activates and releases the brakes, and slows your vehicle down to low speeds while maintaining steering control. If your vehicle slows down and you resume control, a message appears to prompt you to press the accelerator pedal to allow the system to resume.

The system disables until the next key cycle if repeated inactivity is detected.

Event recording

When active drive assist is active, in certain crash or near crash-like situations, such as an air bag deployment or hitting a road obstacle, camera data may be recorded through the vehicle event data recorder. No data is recorded under normal driving conditions.

System Limitations

Any of the following conditions could result in active drive assist not operating correctly:

  • Your vehicle is not centered in the lane.
  • The lane is too narrow or too wide.
  • The system does not detect at least one lane marking or when lanes merge or split.
  • Limited steering torque input is applied.
  • Using the system in areas under construction.
  • When modifications to the steering system have been made.
  • When using a spare tire.
  • If you have a pre-existing eye condition, such as an eye misalignment, or have had eye surgery.

The steering assistance is limited and may not be sufficient for all driving situations. In exceptional conditions, the system could deviate from the center line.

Caution:

  • Do not use the system when towing a trailer.
  • You are responsible for controlling your vehicle at all times. The system is designed to be an aid and does not relieve you of your responsibility to drive with due care and attention.
  • Obstructions to the driver facing camera or infrared lighting could prevent the system from properly operating. Keep the camera and lighting areas free from obstruction.
  • Do not use the system if any changes or modifications to the steering wheel have been made. Any changes or modifications to the steering wheel could affect the functionality or performance of the system.
Contact the author: joshwoods@wheelsjoint.com



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