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Lincoln vehicles getting hands-free driving feature and native Android

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The luxury brand will also debut its first EV in 2022

Lincoln, Ford’s luxury brand, has announced plans to make its entire lineup either hybrid or all-electric by 2030 as part of its parent company’s new business plan. The brand will reveal its first all-electric vehicle in 2022, and it expects that half of its global sales will be zero-emissions vehicles by around 2025.

In addition, Lincoln vehicles are gaining a hands-free advanced driver assistance feature based on Ford’s BlueCruise system, though the luxury marque will call its version “ActiveGlide.” New Lincoln vehicles coming in 2023 will also feature Google’s native Android Automotive operating system, which is is being added to “millions” of Ford vehicles that same year.

Four of Lincoln’s electric vehicles will be built on the new flexible EV platform that Ford announced in May when it laid out its new $30 billion “Ford Plus” business plan. That platform can power vehicles with all- or rear-wheel drive setups, and it “allows [Lincoln] to reimagine the interior space, and deliver the power of sanctuary in a new way for our clients,” John Jraiche, the company’s global director for luxury vehicles, said in a briefing.

In April, Lincoln announced a concept car in China called Zephyr that the company said offers a good picture of what its future vehicles might look like, inside and out. It featured a dashboard-spanning screen and new user interface that Lincoln refers to as “Constellation.” Lincoln released a short video on Wednesday of what that new UI might look like. The company said its “designers and engineers are also experimenting with digital scenting techniques, exploring how warm, pleasant scents positively affect the mood and overall well-being of the passengers.”

Lincoln was previously working on co-developing its first all-electric vehicle with EV startup Rivian, of which Ford owns at least a 10 percent stake. But the luxury automaker announced last year at the beginning of the pandemic that the project was canceled. While it seemed at the time that Lincoln had said it was still working with Rivian on another EV, the company said this week that this was a miscommunication. Rivian is still working with Ford on a future product, but its involvement with the Lincoln brand ended last year.

In more near-term news, Lincoln announced that the 2021 Nautilus will receive its first over-the-air software updates starting this summer. Those will upgrade the onboard navigation system and improve the Apple CarPlay experience. Later this year, an update will add hands-free capability for the built-in Amazon Alexa digital assistant.