Ford to roll out ‘BlueCruise’ hands-free driving system in 2021

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Ford’s new hands-free self-driving suite has a shiny new name and release date, the company announced Friday. BlueCruise will be available on the Mustang Mach-E electric crossover and F-150 later in 2021 to compete with GM’s Super Cruise and Tesla’s Autopilot / Full Self-Driving suites.

BlueCruise is offered as an upgrade of the existing Co-Pilot360 system bundled on the 2021 Mach-E and F-150. It offers true, hands-free operation in the designated “Blue Zones” highway, of which there are 160,000 miles in North America so far, and Ford validated its new system by driving them all in what it calls the “Mother of All Road” calls. Trips. “

“There are highway problems and driving conditions that you simply cannot recreate in a lab,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s chief product platform and operations officer. “Broadcasting these vehicles for a true driving experience is just one of the many ways we’ve made sure that BlueCruise technology provides confidence and convenience to drivers across the continent.”

BlueCruise is a SAE Level 2 driver assistance system, Ford says, as is the aforementioned Autopilot and Super Cruise. Contrary to Tesla’s efforts, BlueCruise and Super Cruise can operate hands-free within designated Blue Zones. Because the system relies on sensors and cameras rather than steering wheel feedback to determine the driver’s attention, it will only call for manual operation if it senses the driver’s gaze has wandered or the car is in a blue zone. has left. Ford also points out that it does not use the cameras to record visual data, thus protecting the owner’s privacy.

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A three-year software service fee of $ 600 is included with the purchase of a BlueCruise package (Ford doesn’t actually call it a subscription). On the F-150, BlueCruise is included in the Ford Co-Pilot 360 Active 2.0 package ($ 1,595), which is standard on the Limited and available as an option on the Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum models. On the Mach-E, BlueCruise is standard on CA Route 1, Premium and First Edition; it is available as part of the Comfort and Technology package on the Select for $ 3,200.

Those who have purchased a 2021 model with the Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0 Prep package can upgrade their vehicles to BlueCruise through a wireless software purchase. Ford will begin selling BlueCruise-equipped Mach-Es and F-150s in the second half of 2021.

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