Ford to offer ‘BlueCruise’ hands free highway driving system

Ford will begin offering its new BlueCruise hands-free highway driving system to customers later this year on 2021 F-150 and Mustang Mach-E models equipped with Ford’s Co-Pilot360 technology.

BlueCruise is an SAE Level 2 driver-assist technology, similar to the Telsa Autopilot, but does not require a driver’s hands to stay in contact with the steering wheel unless prompted by vehicle alerts.

Building upon Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go, Lane Centering and Speed Sign Recognition, BlueCruise utilises both advanced camera and radar-sensing technologies to allow for truly hands-free operation on pre-qualified sections of divided highways, called Hands-Free Blue Zones.

Currently, over 100,000 miles of highways across North America are classified as Hands-Free Blue Zones.

BlueCruise communicates with drivers through box text and blue lighting cues. A driver facing camera in the instrument cluster monitors eye gaze and head position to help ensure the driver’s eyes remain on the road.

In 2020, Ford sent a fleet of ten test vehicles to trek more than 110,000 miles through 37 states and five Canadian provinces to challenge BlueCruise against a wide range of road, weather, and traffic conditions.

“There are highway intricacies and driving conditions that you simply cannot replicate in a lab,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford Chief Product Platform and Operations Officer. “Sending these vehicles out for real-world driving experience is just one of the many ways we ensured that BlueCruise technology confidence and convenience for drivers all across the continent.”

During the first year after rollout, Ford is targeting to sell more than 100,000 vehicles equipped with BlueCruise, based on company sales and take-rate projections.

Beyond the 2021 F150 and Mustang Mach-E, additional Ford vehicles will also receive BlueCruise hands-free driving technology.

Source: Ford’s ‘Mother of All Road Trips’ tests BlueCruise hands-free driving ahead of over-the-air push to F-150, Mustang Mach-E

16 April 2021

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