Affordable "self-driving" car

I am looking to buy my first car with driving assist with hands free support. Goal to keep the budget under 40k.

My online research have yielded the following options that combine adaptive cruise control with true hands-free steering, near the price range I’m looking for.

Ford Mustang
Cadillac CT4, 5
BMW: 3 Series

And I am not quite sure how the following stack up against the above in terms of “self-driving” performance

Ford Ecosport, Escape, Bronco Sport, Bronco, Edge, Explorer
Subaru Outback
Toyota RAV4
Nissan Rogue, Ariya

Help me out here. What should I think and consider as I explore this market? Appreciate any input!

Most of the cars you listed DO NOT have true “HANDS FREE” steering.

They have a “Lane keeping Assist” that will assist you keeping the car centered in the lane.
They still require you to keep at least one hand gripping (not touching, but gripping) the steering wheel.

It also needs to sense that you are giving input to the steering of the car, like when there is a slight curve in the road, it needs to feel you turning the steering wheel.


Where did you see “true, hands free steering” in these car ads? That leads you to believe this?


No such vehicle currently exists.


Correct. Maybe in 5 years. But NOT NOW. There are vehicles that have lane assist in keeping vehicle in the correct lane on the highway.


@176881 Where did you get the idea that any of those are self driving ? Or did you mean something else ?


Yep, the others are right. Tesla’s marketing lies aside, true hands-free self driving does not exist, and won’t exist for some time to come.


Thank you all for valuable input.

I read this article:

I thought while there is no such thing as self-driving car, there are cars that let you be hands free in certain controlled situations based on this article.

So, which of the ones I listed above are the best at reducing the work of driving?

Yes…certain controlled situations. Which is NOT what you originally asked.


This is too new for most or maybe any of us to have an informed opinion. I suggest that you find driving tests of the BMW, Cadillac, and Ford vehicles that offer adaptive cruise control with hands free steering. Let us know what you find out.

None. Underneath all the snazzy marketing, you will universally find a statement along the lines of “you have to remain in full control of the vehicle at all times.” If you don’t want “the work” of driving, Uber, Lyft, cabs, and buses exist.

The automated systems are not designed the way marketers would have you believe. They are there as a last-ditch attempt to correct the driver’s screwups and try to prevent a wreck. When they work, that’s great, but they should not be relied on to take over driving from you as a matter of course. Sensors malfunction. Computers misinterpret situations. Even Tesla’s system, which is probably the most advanced to be unleashed on the public, messes up routinely, sometimes to fatal results.

The bottom line is that currently, if the auto-driving systems have to do anything, it’s because you the driver have screwed up, and they’re trying to correct your mistake. That’s not a situation you should be aiming for.


No one can tell if any vehicle is too much ’ Work for you ’ . Driving a car is almost too easy .


Affordable “self-driving” car


I suggest you take a driving coarse because it seems you might need one if you are worried about self driving options on your first car.

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I test drove quite a few vehicles about a year ago. The adaptive cruise control seemed pretty universal. They worked pretty much the same. But I would always have to put my foot over the brake pedal to be sure it worked and not knowing the parameters of auto activation. If my foot is over the brake pedal anyways (very uncomfortable) I’d might as well brake myself. This feature is great on the open roadway though because it will maintain a specific distance between thee and thou. Some of them deactivate when GPS reports that you are in a school zone. The lane assist feature depends on model of car. If you let the car steer for you, some will weave back and forth between the lines, and others will keep you more centered. None auto manipulated curves, and none functioned when no lines are present or badly faded. The all signalled an alarm if your hands left the wheel. These are all safety assist features. None of them allows you to not 100% drive. Just like a 20 year old car if you don’t 100% drive an accident is nearly inevitable.


So far, there have been 9 Tesla fatalities that apparently resulted from the driver assuming that the car would drive itself.


None of the above.

Also none of the above. The ONLY car that has completely hands free driving is one that comes with a Chauffeur. :roll_eyes:


My dad considers his '19 Honda CRV Touring to be closer to a self driving car, the lane keep assist did keep the car in the lane even when the highway curves but it’s only an assist, you still should have your hands on the wheel.

is it this Tesla? :slight_smile:

I own 2019 Accord and it’s presumably the same technology (although CRV infotainment system is of eyarlier generation), and that thing only engages above 45MPH and looses lane markers in curves so regularly and suddenly that I would never consider taking my hands off the wheel for any prolonged time, not to mention it will sense it after 20 seconds or so and if you do not provide steering inputs, it will start yelling and slowing down.

My wife’s 2022 Civic is definitely a new generation assist: it keeps the lane rock-solid from around 25 MPH and seem to be much better at it, but still gets confused on lane divisions/merges for example.

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so whats the point of having it

He’s only tried it on a stretch of highway on the test drive, but then he uses it more on our 45mph back roads than on I-5.