Ford's New 'BlueCruise' Feature Makes Your Highway Driving a Bit Easier
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New technology, like self-driving vehicles, makes driving more comfortable. Once only seen in science fiction, autonomous cars are now very much a reality.
While Ford is not going all-in on self-driving vehicles yet, the company is introducing a new hands-free driving feature called BlueCruise.
According to Car and Driver, BlueCruise will soon be an optional feature for select Ford models.
Ford is introducing a new hands-free driving feature called BlueCruise.
How BlueCruise works
Think of BlueCruise as the next evolution of cruise control. This feature has been in cars for decades and is designed to eliminate some of the stress and effort of driving. BlueCruise is like cruise control with modern technology in mind.
BlueCruise involves a series of sensors and cameras in Ford vehicles. These detect the lines of a lane and the distance between the car and other vehicles on the road. For another comparison, it’s similar to an advanced version of lane assist technology.
This setup results in a hands-free driving experience. As long as BlueCruise drivers are on roads approved in Ford’s system, BlueCruise will control the vehicle. However, BlueCruise still requires drivers to pay attention.
Difference between BlueCruise and autonomous driving
The BlueCruise is different from a fully autonomous vehicle because the system still needs a driver. While the BlueCruise system lets drivers rest their hands away from the steering wheel, it tracks to make sure that drivers’ eyes are still on the road.
This is done with interior cameras that watch the driver while BlueCruise is active. If a driver is scrolling through their phone or otherwise looking away from the road, BlueCruise will shut down. It’s meant to help the driver, but not replace them.
True self-driving cars are intended to take passengers to their destinations without the need for a human behind the wheel. Some autonomous vehicles do not even include a steering wheel.
Vehicles featuring BlueCruise
Right now, BlueCruise is available for two Ford models: certain 2021 F-150 and Mustang Mach-E vehicles. BlueCruise is not a standard feature, but if you own a compatible Ford, you can upgrade to BlueCruise for $600.
Ford has a few different upgrades that they call a “Power-Up.” BlueCruise is one example of a Power-Up—another is an automatic lane-change option.
Even though only two Ford models are BlueCruise compatible right now, Ford hopes to make it a more common feature moving forward. Their goal for the next year is to produce 100,000 vehicles that can use BlueCruise.
BlueCruise is a testament to the technological innovations in cars, and it could be a sign of what future vehicles can do. With BlueCruise, drivers are still in control of their vehicles, but they also do not have to exert as much effort. For drivers with long or tedious commutes, this hands-free driving option can be a nice relief.
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