Skip to main content

Self-driving cars are something that clearly has Americans’ attention. Tesla has stayed in the news over the past couple of years with some positive stories, but mostly horror stories of Tesla’s AutoPilot system failing. Now, after Ford shut down the company’s self-driving unit last year, Jim Farley, Ford’s CEO, is saying that you will be able to nap while your electric Ford pickup truck drives itself 60 mph down the road. What’s going on here? 

A Ford F-150 Lightning electric truck is getting charged.
Ford F-150 Lightning | Ford

Is Ford making self-driving cars? 

According to MotorTrend, the new electric Ford pickup truck, codenamed “Project T3,” is rumored to be getting a seriously futuristic feature. In an interview with Bloomberg, Jim Farley said that the mysterious electric Ford Pickup Truck will be capable of SAE’s Level 4 autonomous driving, at least in certain conditions. 

“On the highway on a sunny day, you should be able to go to sleep in your truck or make a call or do whatever you want to do in your truck while it drives for you,” Farley said in an interview late last week on Bloomberg TV. “It will be completely digital. It’s a real breakthrough product. This next truck is going to be a lot different, a lot better” than the Ford F-150 Lightning pickup currently on sale, Farley added. 

Ford still has a ways to go

The 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning price rises again
2023 Ford F-150 Lightning | Ford

Ford’s current self-driving system is only capable of SAE Level 2. This means the driver must remain aware the whole time while driving and keep their hands on the wheel. MotorTrend points out that no carmaker currently offers anything above Level 2. Although Level 3 is likely coming around the corner as some companies continue testing. Level 4 and 5 are what most companies believe is needed in order to make the technology viable. 

There are still more questions than answers for the Project T3. The good news is that Ford has admitted that it rushed the Ford F-150 Lightning production, and it isn’t going to make that mistake a second time with the T3. Farley says Project T3 won’t hit the market until at least 2025. 

Does the Ford Lightning have autonomous features? 

The Ford Lightning is one of the hottest nameplates on the market. The electric F-150 is not equipped with any self-driving software. Considering the laundry list of production issues surrounding the Lightning and other popular Ford models, this is not a bad thing. 

Self-driving software is no simple thing. Trying to add something like that while also building a brand new platform for the most popular pickup truck of all time would be folly. Thankfully, Ford left it off the already complicated truck. 

Over the next couple of years, we most likely are seeing plenty of self-driving content from the folks behind the Blue Oval. That is, if Ford goes through with this Level 4 self-driving secret Project T3.