Self-driving, fully automated cars are still in the future. You can experience what it will be like by having a vehicle with what is commonly referred to as hands-free capability. The driver doesn't need to hold the steering wheel in order for the vehicle to accelerate, brake or steer. This feature may seem cool, but car buyers should be aware of more before buying.
Still a future thing. You can experience what it will be like when your car has hands-free capability. The driver does not need to hold the steering wheel. Instead, the vehicle will automatically brake, accelerate and steer. This feature may seem cool, but car buyers should be aware of more before purchasing a vehicle.
In the first place, there are only a handful of automakers that offer hands-free technology. Each system has a unique name. Each system has its own limitations. The majority of these systems will only operate on certain highways and must meet other criteria before they can be operated hands-free. Drivers must remain alert to the road and ready to respond when the system asks them to or when an emergency maneuver needs to be performed. Edmunds has rounded up the best hands-free systems for this year.
Ford and Lincoln have a hands-free driving technology called the Ford Lincoln Hands-free Driving System. The system allows hands-free operation on over 130,000 miles designated major highways. BlueCruise's updated versions can also automatically adjust speed and change lanes for sharp curves on the road. Select Ford and Lincoln models offer it as an optional feature. BlueCruise is included in most Ford and Lincoln models for three years. GENERAL MOTORS
Super Cruise is available on certain trim levels of Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac models. The system is available in certain trim levels of various Chevrolet, GMC, and Cadillac models. Like most other hands-free systems you can only remove your hands from the wheel when driving on pre-mapped roads. GM claims that Super Cruise is compatible with up to 400,000 mile of roads. GM vehicles that are compatible with Super Cruise come with three-years of functionality. The feature will remain active for three years after that.
Nissan's ProPilot 2.0 is similar to BlueCruise or Super Cruise. The system will automatically steer, accelerate and brake when activated in the correct conditions. ProPilot 2.0 was released with the Ariya electric SUV. This is the only vehicle that offers the system in its higher trims. Nissan claims that the system is capable of operating hands-free along over 200,000 miles on certain highways.
BMW's Extended traffic jam assistant has been on the market for several years. The system allows hands-free driving on highways up to 40mph. This year, a new system with greater capabilities will be released. Highway Assistant can maintain your speed automatically up to 80mph and make automatic lane changes. The system's information is limited at the moment, but will be available in the BMW i7 electric car and other high-end models.
Mercedes-Benz will launch its first hands-free system in the U.S. later this year, for the S-Class electric sedan and the EQS. The first Level 3 conditional automatic drive system to be offered in the U.S. will feature a camera that can see the face of the driver, but the driver is still able to keep their eyes on the road. The other systems are all Level 2 meaning that the driver must keep their eyes on the road. Drive Pilot is only allowed to operate at 40 mph on certain highways due to the current regulations. It has been approved only in Nevada and will be available in California later this year.
Tesla is more complicated. Full Self-Driving is available on the company's newer models that have the necessary hardware. Full Self-Driving, despite its name, is not yet a fully self-driving car system. However, Tesla claims that it will become one in the future. Owners of the Full Self-Driving System must choose the Beta version to enable hands-free functionality. Tesla offers Full Self Driving Beta to all owners of the Full Self Driving system. Full-Self Driving beta can be operated hands-free in most roads and highways.
The future of hands-free driving is closer than ever. Keep in mind, however, that hands-free does not mean "eyes-free." We expect automakers to offer more advanced driving systems soon.
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