Ford Motor Company is nearing the launch of its new semi-autonomous driver assistance system. The system’s name will be BlueCruise and will give owners of some 2021 Mustang Mach-E and F-150 owners the hands-free driving abilities later this year via and over-the-air software update.
Later this year Ford will offer BlueCruise to owners of 2021 Mustang Mach-E and F-150 owners who have vehicles equipped with Ford’s Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0 Prep Package a software update. This package includes the hardware needed for the advanced driver assistance feature. However, the hardware is not fully active without this new software update. The software will cost an additional $600 for three years of BlueCruise.
BlueCruise essentially enhances Ford’s existing adaptive cruise control system. Thanks to a camera mounted on the steering column, drivers can leverage hands-free driving abilities on around 100,000 miles of divided highway in the U.S. Ford calls these sections of highway the BlueZone. When in hands-free mode the camera will track the driver’s attentiveness. BlueCruise, like all other advanced driver aids, is not a self-driving system. There are no self-driving vehicles on the U.S. market today.
In late 2020 Ford sent a fleet of five F-150’s and five Mustang Mach-E’s out to test BlueCruise on 110,000 mile road trip. The trip took the fleet through 37 states and 5 Canadian provinces. This test was the last one to provide final validation of BlueCruise by testing it in the real world.
If BlueCruise sounds familiar, that’s likely because it is similar in operation to Cadillac’s SuperCruise system. So far Ford is only offering BlueCruise in the F-150 and Mustang Mach-E, but it is expected to propagate through the Ford and Lincoln lineups soon.