Ford launches BlueCruise, its hands-free driving system

  • BlueCruise can be activated on over 160,000 km of freeways across Canada and the United States.

  • The system will initially be available on select Mustang Mach-E and F-150 models.

  • BlueCruise software will cost $ 750 for three years of service.

Ford had previously announced a semi-autonomous driving system, and it will be called BlueCruise. It will allow hands-free driving on more than 160,000 kilometers of divided highways across Canada and the United States.

Later in 2021, BlueCruise will be introduced on the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E and 2021 Ford F-150 via an Internet software update, with other new models to follow, likely both under the Ford and Lincoln brands. However, the Mach-E and F-150 must first be equipped with a Ford Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0 preparation package, which adds exterior cameras and sensors as well as a camera aimed at the driver in the cabin. During the first year of service, Ford expects to equip some 100,000 vehicles with the system.

This level 2 hands-free driving assistant will be functional on divided highways mapped across the two countries, covering a dense portion of the eastern states and even a few roads in Alaska and Hawaii. Coverage is still spartan in Canada, but includes routes around Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec, as well as major arteries in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Specific features of BlueCruise will be announced at a later date, but when drivers reach a compatible highway, the vehicle’s digital instrumentation lighting will turn blue, indicating that the driving assistant can be used. The driver monitoring camera will detect when the person driving is distracted or drowsy, and will issue a warning to stay alert. And this camera works even if the driver is wearing sunglasses or a face cover.

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In future updates, the system will include lane change assistance, activated when the driver simply presses the turn signal arm, as well as predictable speed assistance that will automatically adjust vehicle speed as it approaches curves. or roundabouts. And of course, we will expand road coverage over time. By comparison, GM’s Super Cruise system operates over 200,000 miles of highway.

In order to test and refine the BlueCruise system, Ford put five Mustang Mach-E and five F-150 on the road, traveling through 37 US states and 5 Canadian provinces, covering a distance of almost 180,000 km while taking on a variety of road and weather conditions. That is in addition to some 805,000 km of development testing. “There are road conditions on the highway that you just can’t duplicate in the lab,” said Ford Product and Operations Manager Hau Thai-Tang. “Getting these vehicles out on the road for real world experience is just one of several ways to ensure BlueCruise technology brings confidence and convenience to drivers across the continent. “

In Canada, the Ford Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0 preparation package is standard on the F-150 Platinum and Limited, and is a $ 2,100 option on the Lariat and King Ranch versions. The package is part of the Comfort / Technology package at $ 3,390 on the Mustang Mach-E Select, while it is included in the California Route 1, Premium and First Edition versions of the all-electric crossover. BlueCruise software costs $ 750 for a three-year commissioning.

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