Ford recently announced vehicles equipped with the available Ford Co-Pilot 360 Active 2.0 Prep Package can receive BlueCruise later this year through an over-the-air software update.
Better than Tesla?
We all know that Tesla has bragged about its self-driving abilities for quite some time, and several automakers have been working on hands-free driving solutions for years. But right now, these systems are more driver-assist than drive-for-you.
While Ford BlueCruise still requires driver attention, it does enable hands-free driving under a specific set of circumstances.
Availability and cost
Ford BlueCruise will be available on select 2021 F-150s and Mach-E equipped with Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 Active 2.0 Prep Package. The over-the-air update will cost $600 for the F-150 and will need to be updated ($600 each time) every three years. The 2021 F-150 Limited comes standard with the Ford Co-Pilot 360 Active 2.0 Prep Package, and the package is optional on the Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum pickup trucks.
If you have one of these editions you can purchase the hardware for $1,595, then pay $600 to get the BlueCruise software.
How does it work?
The BlueCruise hands-free driving technology uses advanced camera and radar-sensing technologies, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, plus lane centering and speed sign recognition. All of these combined allow a driver to travel hands-free on pre-qualified sections of divided highways. (Not just any road!)
The software knows which roads are pre-qualified and will alert drivers when their hands need to be on the wheel. The vehicle communicates via text and blue lights, which are effective even for those with color blindness.
What do you think?
We understand that many people are skeptical of these new technologies. After all, we hear quite often how weather conditions can affect radar cruise control and lane-keep assist, and it makes us wonder just how well these technologies will work when sensors are dirty.
For people who find driving boring, tiring, etc., these advances in technology can be a really exciting thing.
We’d love to hear what you think: Are you excited about hands-free driving?