Ford is launching its BlueCruise technology that allows drivers of Mustang Mach-E models from 2023 onwards to drive hands-free. The system can be used in approved ‘blue zones’ which include 2,300 miles of motorway in the UK.
A combination of cameras and radars monitor road markings, speed signs and surrounding vehicles. Building on adaptive cruise control, BlueCruise maintains a safe distance from the vehicle in front and controls steering, acceleration, lane positioning and braking. It’s also able to respond to traffic jams and bring the car to a safe stop from high speeds.
Infrared cameras are used inside the car to check the driver is paying attention to the road, this analyses head positioning and eye line, even with sunglasses on. If the driver is not paying attention, warning messages and audible alerts sound and the vehicle will slow down. The system responds in a similar way if the driver doesn’t put their hands on the wheel when the car is leaving a ‘blue zone’.
This technology is the first of its kind to be approved in Europe following 100,000 miles of testing on European roads and 600,000 test miles in North America. Customers with 2023 Mustang Mach-Es can access BlueCruise by activating a subscription. The first 90 days from purchase are free and the monthly rate thereafter is £17.99.