Ford Introduces Hands-Free Driving on UK Motorways

Ford has dropped its latest “BlueCruise” technology, allowing for hands-free driving on certain motorways in the UK. This feature, available on the Ford Mustang Mach-E, provides drivers with the opportunity to experience a new level of convenience and safety on the road. Although this technology doesn’t mean the vehicle is fully autonomous, it marks a significant step forward for assisted driving technology, regardless.

The BlueCruise Technology: How It Works

BlueCruise technology enables the Ford Mustang Mach-E to take control of steering, acceleration, and braking while the driver’s focus can be on the road ahead. The cameras and sensors allow the car to detect lane markings, speed signs, and the position of other vehicles on the road in relation to its own. This advanced system ensures that drivers can keep their hands off the wheel, reducing fatigue and providing a more comfortable driving experience overall.

To ensure the safety of the driver, a camera monitors their eyes to ensure they stay alert. The driver must also refrain from using their mobile phone, falling asleep, or engaging in any activity that diverts their attention from the road as, as much as it is self-driving and has safety measures in place, it does not replace the need for vigilance and responsiblity for yours and others’ lives on the road.

Availability and Pricing in the UK

Ford’s BlueCruise technology is currently available on the UK’s designated “blue zones” motorways, covering about 6,000km (3,700 miles) from Dover to Scotland. These motorways have four lanes and central dividers, creating the perfect routes for hands-free driving.

To access the BlueCruise feature, drivers can subscribe to a monthly service, priced at £17.99. This subscription model allows Ford to provide ongoing support and updates to the technology, ensuring a seamless and enhanced driving experience for its customers.

Levels of Vehicle Autonomy and Advancements in Level 3 Autonomy

Ford’s BlueCruise technology falls under the category of Level 2 driver assistance systems, as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers. At this level, the technology can control multiple aspects of driving, such as steering, acceleration, and braking. However, it still requires human intervention and attention, as the driver remains responsible for the vehicle’s operation.

Ford envisions improved cruise control as the next step towards achieving Level 3 autonomy, where the onboard computer can take over driving in the majority of situations. Level 3 autonomy allows drivers to temporarily divert their attention from the road, but they must remain prepared to resume control when necessary.

BlueCruise Expansion to Other EU Countries

Ford plans to introduce BlueCruise technology in other European countries, with Germany and France being the next targets for its expansion. This signifies Ford’s commitment to bringing the benefits of hands-free driving to a wider audience across the continent.