Upgrades to Ford’s Bluecruise driver-assist technology include the ability to make hands-free lane changes.
Ford said in a press statement on Thursday that Bluecruise 1.2, a new version of the technology, will debut this autumn with the 2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E. The Lincoln version of Activeglide 1.2 will come after.
According to Ford, the updated technology allows drivers to change lanes by just pressing the turn signal stalk. If Bluecruise detects traffic going slowly, it will also advise changing lanes. This feature is equivalent to what is already offered by the competing Super Cruise system from General Motors.
Predictive speed assist, which automatically changes speed while approaching severe bends, is also added in Bluecruise 1.2 and Activeglide 1.2. According to Ford, the technology would alert the driver in advance so they are aware of the reason the car is slowing down.
In-lane repositioning, which pulls the car away from people in neighbouring lanes, is the third new feature. According to Ford, it’s useful when driving alongside bigger vehicles like semi trucks.
Engineers are continuously enhancing the maps Bluecruise uses via over-the-air (OTA) updates in addition to the new capabilities. According to Ford, Bluecruise may only be used on pre-mapped highway segments totaling more than 130,000 kilometres.
As previously, for Bluecruise to function, even on an approved section of highway, it must be able to recognise lane lines and verify that the driver is maintaining their eyes on the road.
According to Ford, 75,000 owners of Ford and Lincoln vehicles have used Bluecruise or Activeglide thus far, and more than 16 million hands-free miles have been driven through the end of August.