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Lincoln Announces ActiveGlide Hands-Free Driving System, Electric Vehicle Plans

Lincoln-nautilus-2021-04-angle--exterior--front--silver.jpg 2021 Lincoln Nautilus | Cars.com photo by Corey Boland

After Ford announced its future electrification plans in May, it’s now Lincoln’s turn. As with Ford, we can expect a future filled with more electrified vehicles from the Blue Oval’s luxury arm — including all-electric models. In the near term, however, Lincoln also announced its name for Ford’s coming BlueCruise hands-free semi-autonomous driving feature: ActiveGlide.

Related: Report: Ford, Lincoln Planning Future EV Explorer, Aviator, ‘Rugged SUVs’ and More

What Are ActiveGlide and BlueCruise?

Using a combination of cameras and radar, the technology can keep the vehicle centered in its lane with the driver’s hands on the wheel — or, on specific stretches of divided highways Lincoln is calling Hands-Free Blue Zones, drivers can take their hands off the wheel and the vehicle will handle steering and lane changes. The vehicle will monitor the driver’s attention level to make sure they’re ready to intervene if necessary and are paying attention to their surroundings. It will use instrument panel notifications and other visual alerts to communicate with the driver.

ActiveGlide and BlueCruise are more akin to GM’s Super Cruise in that the feature only allows hands-free driving on certain roadways, as opposed to Tesla’s less restricted Autopilot system.

BlueCruise will launch first on Ford’s Mustang Mach-E and F-150. Cars.com’s long-term F-150 is equipped with the necessary hardware once the software is available. Ford said that’ll be  later in 2021, with additional future models expected to offer the technology. Lincoln’s ActiveGlide has a similar timeline, but the brand has not yet announced which of its current models will be equipped with the technology or if it will launch on a to-be-determined future Lincoln.

The Rest of Lincoln’s Future

In EV news, Lincoln announced its first all-electric model should debut in 2022, and the brand will use the same rear- or all-wheel-drive battery-electric vehicle platform as Ford to bring a total of four new EVs to market.

Lincoln expects its entire lineup to be electrified — though not purely electric — by 2030, with 50% of its global sales to be zero-emission vehicles by the middle of this decade.

In terms of vehicle styling, the Zephyr sedan concept’s styling hints at the design language of future Lincolns, though don’t expect Lincoln sedans to make a comeback in North America.

Connectivity Upgrades

Lincoln will also be embracing over-the-air updates, with the 2021 Nautilus receiving upgrades to Apple CarPlay functionality as well as its navigation and digital owner’s manual later in the summer. A larger update to improve Amazon Alexa connectivity is planned for the fall.

Lincoln is also upgrading its dealer experience to appeal to luxury buyers and is currently piloting a “mobile fuel and vehicle spa subscription-based service” that brings fueling, detailing and vehicle services to clients. The brand added it’s in the process of remodeling its dealerships for a more luxurious buyer experience. And for those who want to skip a dealership, Lincoln is developing a fully online purchasing experience.

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