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Mach E's Adaptive Cruise Control (without Hands-Free)

RyZt

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I ordered Mach E on day one. Throughout this process, I have assumed that Mach E's ACC (without Hands Free) will work as good as Tesla's Autopilot (without FSD). Recently, in the Hands-Free thread, there have been a few related comments on this comparison, expressing two opposing opinions. However, such comments are scattered in that thread, and there was little "coversation" going on. That's understandable, as the bulk of that thread focus on other topics.

When I raised this topic on that thread, I got one friendly reply from @Stickboy46 that he believes Mach E's ACC (without Hands Free) will ping pong instead of driving in the center of the lane, and cannot handle bends and corners. That does not match my understanding. I want to reach a conclusive answer of Yes or No on whether Mach E's ACC (without Hands Free) will work as good as Tesla's Autopilot (without FSD).

My first hand experience with ACC is very limited. I welcome people with first hand experience to chime in.
  • I did a test drive with Model 3. But it was way too short to get much insight into Tesla's Autopilot.
  • I drove a rental 2018/2019 VW Tiguan in Netherland, which I believe has lane centering as part of its ACC feature. I deliberately asserted little force on the steering wheel during highway bends and ramps, and it maneuvered well. I also believe it was able to keep itself in the center of the lane when cruising down a highway.
  • I also drove a rental Mazda CX-5 and a rental MINI Clubman. Both had ACC, but not lane centering.
I tried to read on this topic online. According to Ford's ACC page, there are 4 kinds of Ford vehicles:
  • ACC with Forward Collision Control with Brake Support
  • ACC with Stop and Go
    • (the previous bullet point plus) Can come to full stop. If completely stopped for more than 3 seconds, driver must press RES button or gas pedal to continue
    • Optional and/or standard on 2020 Fusion, Escape, F-150, Expedition
  • ACC with Stop and Go and Lane Centering
    • (the previous bullet point plus) Keep your vehicle centered in the lane
    • Optional and/or standard on 2020 Escape, Edge
  • Intelligent ACC
    • (the previous bullet point plus) Speed sign recognition, automatically adjust set speed
    • Optional and/or standard on 2020 Explorer
    • Per Mach E page, it will fall under this category.
    • Per Hands Free press release, the "3 second" threshold for "Stop and Go" is increased to 30 seconds for Mach E. It's not clear whether it applies to Hands Free only.
One more thing I want to add. If you look at the Mach E page, you'll see that it has both "Lane Keeping Assist" (under Ford Co-Pilot360 2.0) and "Intelligent ACC" (under Ford Co-Pilot 360 Assist 2.0). Note that lane centering is part of the latter, NOT the former. This got me quite confused when I started reading on this topic.

Based on my limited first hand experience and online reading, my conclusion remains that Mach E's ACC (without Hands Free) is as good as Tesla's Autopilot (without FSD). I'd be happy to be corrected.

Any one here with first hand experience on 2020 Escape, Edge, Explorer? (maybe it's also available on 2019?) Any one here with extensive first hand experience on ACC with lane centering from other manufacturers? Any one with experience on such a system in both non-Tesla and Tesla?
 

macchiaz-o

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@RyZt, this is one of those areas with noticeable variations in implementation quality across brands and models.

Just for the sake of argument, if we assume that MME includes lane centering in standard packages (no need for ADA prep package, etc), this wouldn't tell us whether Ford's implementation is good enough that we'd want to turn the feature on.

I still want to know the on-paper answer to your question, but just being realistic, we'll have to wait for auto journalists to begin reporting on their first hand, significant length test-drive experiences.

From what I've heard (and can recall) so far, I think Tesla's lane centering is considered one of the best if not the best. Some of the worst implementations will cause the car to sort of slowly ping pong between lane markers.

The Wheel Bearings podcast does a good job covering driver experiences like this. They seem less biased (to me) and more knowledgeable, especially Sam Abuelsamid. His written reviews will also show up on forbes.com and a few other places.

As for video bloggers, I tend to like Alex on Autos' take. He's extremely knowledgeable and also seems less biased.
 
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macchiaz-o

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Forgot to add... my ASSUMPTION is that lane centering is included on all trim levels as standard, based on the Intelligent Cruise Control video subtitle on this page.

Intelligent Cruise Control with Stop and Go, Lane Centering and Speed Sign Recognition
 

Stickboy46

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Forgot to add... my ASSUMPTION is that lane centering is included on all trim levels as standard, based on the Intelligent Cruise Control video subtitle on this page.
Your links make this interesting and highlight why there is so much confusion. The top video mentions hands free with lane centering which was announced as an extra cost this week.

Then the video you mentioned has lane centering in the subtitle BUT farther down it mentions lane keeping only which is different than lane centering.

We might not actually know until people start test driving it lol
 

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@RyZt, this is one of those areas with noticeable variations in implementation quality across brands and models.

Just for the sake of argument, if we assume that MME includes lane centering in standard packages (no need for ADA prep package, etc), this wouldn't tell us whether Ford's implementation is good enough that we'd want to turn the feature on.

I still want to know the on-paper answer to your question, but just being realistic, we'll have to wait for auto journalists to begin reporting on their first hand, significant length test-drive experiences.

From what I've heard (and can recall) so far, I think Tesla's lane centering is considered one of the best if not the best. Some of the worst implementations will cause the car to sort of slowly ping pong between lane markers.

The Wheel Bearings podcast does a good job covering driver experiences like this. They seem less biased (to me) and more knowledgeable, especially Sam Abuelsamid. He written reviews will also show up on forbes.com and a few other places.

As for video bloggers, I tend to like Alex on Autos take. He's extremely knowledgeable and also seems less biased.
Very good points. A system like this is only useful if it's good enough for the customer to want to turn on. I know I use autopilot 95% of the time.. in town and on highway. It's that good. I haven't used the others but from the various videos I've seen it can range widely based on the speeds of activation, the responsiveness, how well it keeps you in the lane etc etc
 

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Lane assist is standard in many mid trim level $20k vehicles. It would be a huge mistake on Ford's part to place Lane Assist behind an additional paywall. Not to mention Lane Assist is standard on all Tesla's with AP. I have 100+ hours commuting with Tesla's AP and if the MachE has the same functionality out of the box I'll be happy with it.
 

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RyZt

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Indeed, auto manifacturers are making this as confusing as they can. Maybe this is why Tesla Autopilot appeals to so many people.

Even in that first pdf (adas nomenclature), there are two sentences describing Lane Keeping Assistance: "Provides steering support to assist the driver in preventing the vehicle from departing the lane. Some systems also assist to keep the vehicle centered within the lane."

They mean very different things. The first is a safety feature. The second is a convenience feature (and a safety feature).

Lane assist is standard in many mid trim level $20k vehicles. It would be a huge mistake on Ford's part to place Lane Assist behind an additional paywall. Not to mention Lane Assist is standard on all Tesla's with AP. I have 100+ hours commuting with Tesla's AP and if the MachE has the same functionality out of the box I'll be happy with it.
Yes, but the lane keeping assist on 20k vehicles seems to refer only to "Provides steering support to assist the driver in preventing the vehicle from departing the lane", but not "assist to keep the vehicle centered within the lane."
 
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RyZt

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but just being realistic, we'll have to wait for auto journalists to begin reporting on their first hand, significant length test-drive experiences.
We might not actually know until people start test driving it lol
Ford's Intelligent ACC is available today on 2020 Explorer. (I don't know whether it's limited to certain trims or packages.) Yet I couldn't find any review. Maybe there are so many quality issues on 2020 Explorer that no one is interested in exploring its features.
 
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The top video mentions hands free with lane centering which was announced as an extra cost this week.

Then the video you mentioned has lane centering in the subtitle BUT farther down it mentions lane keeping only which is different than lane centering.
I tried to address this confusion in my original post:

If you look at the Mach E page, you'll see that it has both "Lane Keeping Assist" (under Ford Co-Pilot360 2.0) and "Intelligent ACC" (under Ford Co-Pilot 360 Assist 2.0). Note that lane centering is part of the latter, NOT the former. This got me quite confused when I started reading on this topic.

They are different things. I believe the former is a feature that can be turned on whether or not you are using cruise control. It's primarily a safety feature warning you that you have left a lane without using turn signals. The latter makes cruise control more useful by making sure the car stays in the lane when cruise control is active.
 

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Indeed, auto manifacturers are making this as confusing as they can. Maybe this is why Tesla Autopilot appeals to so many people.



Even in that first pdf (adas nomenclature), there are two sentences describing Lane Keeping Assistance: "Provides steering support to assist the driver in preventing the vehicle from departing the lane. Some systems also assist to keep the vehicle centered within the lane."

They mean very different things. The first is a safety feature. The second is a convenience feature (and a safety feature).



Yes, but the lane keeping assist on 20k vehicles seems to refer only to "Provides steering support to assist the driver in preventing the vehicle from departing the lane", but not "assist to keep the vehicle centered within the lane."
Right, and that was frustrating when I first started trying to figure it out as well back when I placed my reservation in November. What Ford seems to include in the copilot and copilot assist is for the car to keep itself centered between the lines and a specified space behind another car without the driver having to overtly do anything. Videos I've seen of this in action with the current version (ie 1.0) showed the driver having to still have contact with the wheel as a sign of paying attention, which is what Tesla does also. When Ford execs talked about the camera on the steering wheel tracking the drivers eyes, it seemed Ford had gone an extra step with the "Copilot 2.0" and didn't require a hand on the wheel for this auto lane centering - a significant improvement over Tesla. Alas, they once again seem to have missed an opportunity. For them to only use the camera as an "I'm paying attention" signal if I pay an extra few thousand dollars for 360 cameras and such is ridiculous, but such is a traditional auto manufacturer's MO.

In terms of "on paper" features (I've never used AP, but according to the manual), Tesla's AP includes the ability for the driver to pass a slower car without having to take over driving the car. To pass you simply hit the turn signal; the car changes lanes and resumes set speed, passing the slower car. The driver then is responsible for signaling back into the original lane when the slow car is passed, and voila you pass without having to exit and reenter AP. I have no idea if this actually works, which is why I didn't reply to your query previously.

As others have said, until drivers get realworld experience with copilot/assist 2.0 we won't know how it actually compares to the Tesla AP.
 

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Ford's Intelligent ACC is available today on 2020 Explorer. (I don't know whether it's limited to certain trims or packages.) Yet I couldn't find any review. Maybe there are so many quality issues on 2020 Explorer that no one is interested in exploring its features.
I once managed to find a video put out by a ford dealer showing it in action, but it was a very short clip. It did show it handling a curve, so that is probably good.
 

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In terms of "on paper" features (I've never used AP, but according to the manual), Tesla's AP includes the ability for the driver to pass a slower car without having to take over driving the car. To pass you simply hit the turn signal; the car changes lanes and resumes set speed, passing the slower car. The driver then is responsible for signaling back into the original lane when the slow car is passed, and voila you pass without having to exit and reenter AP. I have no idea if this actually works, which is why I didn't reply to your query previously.
To make this even more complicated. That feature "automatic lane changes" is only available in the Full Self Driving package (the 7K add on). I believe it will also pass an get back in the same lane even without confirmation if you turn that on in the settings. I didn't see the point in paying 7k for that over basic autopilot so I can't give you any first hand impressions.

I believe that was also previously included in an "Enhanced Autopilot" option that is no longer offered that was like 3-4k before they included Autopilot for free.
 

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I once managed to find a video put out by a ford dealer showing it in action, but it was a very short clip. It did show it handling a curve, so that is probably good.
I'm really curious of the limitations of it. It sounds like it's getting close. The biggest difference might be not having the ability to use it in city driving as opposed to Autopilot
 

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To make this even more complicated. That feature "automatic lane changes" is only available in the Full Self Driving package (the 7K add on). I believe it will also pass an get back in the same lane even without confirmation if you turn that on in the settings. I didn't see the point in paying 7k for that over basic autopilot so I can't give you any first hand impressions.

I believe that was also previously included in an "Enhanced Autopilot" option that is no longer offered that was like 3-4k before they included Autopilot for free.
Hmm, OK - didn't realize that was not part of the base autopilot. So, essentially the copilot/assist 360 2.0 are comparable in features - it is just a matter of performance on the road potentially being different. And, it still bugs me that the driver facing camera should be good enough for the "I'm paying attention" but isn't unless you also get the additional hardware and software.
 



 








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