If you have ever taken a long road trip, it can be a great time. However, it can also wear you out. Thanks to the latest evolution of Ford’s Co-Pilot360 technology, 2021 Mustang Mach-E (and 2021 Ford F-150) owners can soon take their hands off the wheel and let the car take over the highway driving chores with BlueCruise.
In developing this technology, Ford engineers took 10 test vehicles — five F-150s and five Mustang Mach-Es — on a 110,000-mile road trip through 37 states and five Canadian provinces to ensure it would function properly in a broad range of road, weather and traffic conditions. This journey was the home stretch of more than a half million miles of testing to validate the system’s efficacy.
“There are highway intricacies and driving conditions that you simply cannot replicate in a lab,” Hau Thai-Tang, Ford chief product platform and operations officer, said. “Sending these vehicles out for real-world driving experience is just one of many ways we ensured that BlueCruise technology offers confidence and convenience for drivers all across the continent.”
The BlueCruise system utilizes the hardware already onboard these vehicles for Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go, Lane Centering and Speed Sign Recognition, including cameras and radar, to deliver a hands-free driving experience that uses cameras to ensure the driver keeps an eye on the road.
Set to roll out later this year, BlueCruise is standard on CA Route 1, Premium and First Edition versions of the Mach-E. It can also be added as a hardware and software upgrade to the Select model for $3,200, of which $600 is for the software update, as part of the larger Comfort and Technology package that also includes a 360-degree camera, heated front seats and heated steering wheel.
So if you are heading out on a Mach-E road trip in late 2021, there are more than 100,000 miles of highways across North America that are dedicated Hands-Free Blue Zones in the Ford GPS mapping system, so you can cover a lot of ground while giving yourself a break.