Ford is the first automaker in the UK to receive authorization for the use of “hands-off, eyes-on” advanced driver aid technology.
Ford’s new Level 2 BlueCruise system allows Mustang Mach-E drivers to legally drive while taking their hands off the wheel.
The technology may be utilized across 2,300 miles of pre-mapped motorways in England, Scotland, and Wales, a first for a system of this type in Europe.
If the driver pays attention to the road ahead while driving in these specified “Blue Zones,” they will be able to operate the vehicle in hands-free mode at up to 80 mph.
The steering, acceleration, and lane location of the car are all managed by the system, which also keeps an eye on traffic conditions, speed signs, and road markers.
Additionally, it enables the automobile to keep a safe distance from the cars in front of it while also having the ability to automatically slow down the car if traffic gets heavy up ahead.
The driver’s attentiveness is also observed by in-car cameras to make sure they are keeping their focus on the road in front of them. Even if the driver is wearing sunglasses, these infrared driver-facing cameras monitor their eye movement and head posture.
In the instrument cluster, a warning message will be displayed if it determines that the driver is not paying attention. If the driver doesn’t keep their eyes on the road, this will be followed by audio warnings before applying the brake and slowing the car down. This will also happen if the motorist returns to a location outside of a Blue Zone without putting their hands back on the steering wheel.
According to Martin Sander, general manager of Ford’s electric division in Europe, “it’s not every day that you can say you’ve put one foot in the future, but Ford BlueCruise becoming the first hands-free driving system of its kind to receive approval for use in a European country is a significant step forward for our industry.”
For the first time, owners of the 2023 Ford Mustang Mach-e will be able to subscribe to BlueCruise.
The first 90 days are free, but after that, a £17.99 monthly subscription fee will be charged.