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Ford Hands-Free System Now Called BlueCruise

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BlueCruise offers hands-free driving in properly equipped 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-Es
The future of hands-free driving is here with Ford BlueCruise
Photo: Ford

Later this year, Ford will roll out its new hands-free driving technology for the 2021 Ford F-150 and Mustang Mach-E. That groundbreaking feature will now go by a different, better name: BlueCruise. Hey, Ford. Quick note here: If you don’t put together a commercial for this thing in the style of Blue’s Clues, what are you even doing?

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BlueCruise, formerly Active Drive Assist, comes to 2021 F-150 and Mustang Mach-E models equipped with the Ford Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0 Prep Package. The technology will come via over-the-air updates, marking one of the first major software upgrades for vehicles with SYNC 4. Ford says that planned future over-the-air updates include Predictive Speed Assist and a Lane Change Assist feature that automatically switches lanes when you tap the turn signal indicator.

BlueCruise software will be standard for the Mustang Mach-E California Route 1, Premium, and First Edition. You can add the technology to the Mustang Select for $3,200 with the Comfort and Technology package. As for the F-150, the software is $600 across the board. F-150 Limited models include the Ford Co-Pilot 360 Active 2.0 package, and it’s available for the Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum for an extra $1,595.

Ford says it believes that it will sell 100,000 vehicles equipped with BlueCruise hands-free driving technology in the first year.

Compatible highways now called Hands-Free Blue Zones

a map of the current network of Ford Hands-Free Blue Zones in North America
Ford will expand its Hands-Free Blue Zones via over-the-air updates
Photo: Ford

Also getting a snazzy new name is the 100,000 miles of highways in North America where the technology will work. Ford is now calling these divided highways Hands-Free Blue Zones.

When you enter a BlueCruise Hands-Free Blue Zone, you’ll be notified by a blue light on the vehicle’s digital instrument cluster. A camera faces the driver’s seat to make sure that your eyes are on the road. When you leave a Hands-Free Blue Zone or take your gaze off the road, you’ll be notified by a prompt on the display.

How BlueCruise works, differs from Tesla and GM

  • BlueCruise offers hands-free driving in properly equipped 2021 Ford F-150s
  • BlueCruise on the 2021 Ford F-150's digital instrument display
  • BlueCruise on the 2021 Ford F-150's digital instrument display

Ford touts that BlueCruise is better than Tesla Autopilot because your hands don’t need to stay in contact with the steering wheel. It’s also got a key advantage over Super Cruise in that its method of communicating with the driver is more intuitive and friendly for those with color blindness.

The automaker says that there are currently thousands of miles of BlueCruise Hands-Free Blue Zones that will be added to the network. Those updates as well as regular mapping updates will all come via SYNC 4 and over-the-air updates. Ford says that it will also roll its BlueCruise hands-free driving technology out to additional vehicles in the future.

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