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Ford eyes first-year sales of 100,000 vehicles with hands-free driving system

FILE PHOTO: Ford Motor Co. displays a 2021 Ford F-150 pickup truck at the Rouge Complex in Dearborn, Michigan, U.S. September 17, 2020. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo

(Reuters) - Ford Motor Co F.N said on Friday it expects to sell 100,000 cars and trucks equipped with the company's new hands-free driving system in the first full year of availability.

The catch is, only the system hardware will be installed. The software will not be ready for nearly another year, Ford said.

The automaker’s Active Drive Assist will be offered first on the redesigned F-150 pickup and the new Mustang Mach-E electric SUV, both of which go on sale later this year. However, the feature will not be activated until the third quarter of 2021, the company said.

Customers can order a Mach-E or an F-150 with the Co-Pilot360 advanced driver assistance package, which includes the hardware for Active Drive Assist. That feature will be switched on via a wireless over-the-air update when the software is finalized next year, Ford said.

Active Drive Assist will be standard on selected high-end models and available as an option on others, priced from around $1,500.

Consumer Reports earlier this week released results of its test of 17 vehicles equipped with active driving assistance systems, including a Tesla TSLA.O Model Y -- a head-to-head competitor to the Mustang Mach-E -- with Autopilot. The Model Y finished "a distant second" in the testing to a Cadillac CT6 fitted with General Motors Co's GM.N Super Cruise system.

Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Sandra Maler

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