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Lincoln MKZ AV Cruises Down Highway While Driver Sleeps: Video

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Autonomous vehicle (AV) technology is currently being heavily developed by a number of companies, including Ford-backed Argo AI. But while we await the official launch of self-driving commercial services, automakers like Ford are either offering or preparing to offer driver-assist features like BlueCruise that allow drivers to cruise around hands-free, so long as they keep their eyes on the road. However, the Lincoln MKZ AV in this video was recently spied cruising down the highway while the driver was taking a  nap.

The Lincoln MKZ AV is owned by WeRide, a Chinese autonomous vehicle company that isn’t affiliated with Ford or Argo AI but has a permit to operate in various parts of China and San Jose, California. The company has been offering a self-driving robotaxi service in China for a couple of years now, completing nearly 150,000 rides so far. Its Level 4 AD fleet is based on a self-developed hardware solution supplemented by 360-degree sensor coverage.

Obviously, this sort of behavior isn’t safe, as we haven’t quite reached the point where fully autonomous, Level 5 vehicles are fit for public roads. Even automakers and companies developing this technology are quick to admit that, which is precisely why a human operator is needed behind the wheel, paying attention and ready to take over in the event that something goes wrong.

Luckily, Ford’s BlueCruise and Lincoln’s ActiveGlide systems feature a driver-facing camera in the instrument cluster that monitors eye gaze and head position to help ensure the driver’s eyes remain on the road. A visual prompt on the instrument cluster notifies the driver when they need to return their attention to the road or resume control of the vehicle. However, as is usually always the case with these technologies, it is possible to circumvent this requirement, as Ford Authority reported back in August.

We’ll have more interesting videos like this to share soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Lincoln news, Lincoln MKZ news, and ongoing Ford news coverage.

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Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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Comments

  1. JohnIL

    Well for me, the history has so far not proven these systems to be mostly infallible to be 100% trustworthy. Most of the accidents I have read about were single vehicle events caused by the auto pilot not properly navigating the vehicle. Maybe statistically it will prove to be better then a human. But so far I am not convinced enough to sleep while the vehicle is driving itself.

    Reply
  2. Ford Owner

    It may be cheaper and safer to pay a driver instead of buying an autonomous vehicle.

    Reply
  3. Mike Parnell

    Computers are killing us in airplanes and cars, etc., and we are letting them, and letting them be installed in those vehicles, and paying for it. I will keep my 96 Ford Ranger Splash that I drive, and not a computer, sometimes.

    Reply
  4. Lee

    When manufacturers produce dumb ideas, stupid people will try to ‘test’ it.

    Reply

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