Ford hands-free driving approved in the UK: Mustang Mach E fitted with advanced driver-assistance tech

April 14, 2023 by

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Ford’s BlueCruise tech, which is already available in the US, has been given regulatory consent by the UK government. That means we’re likely to be seeing hands-free driving on this side of the pond soon. Read more to find out.

The next step in advanced driver assistance in the UK has been approved after Ford received consent from the government to introduce its BlueCruise driver-assistance technology.

Already available in the US, the system will be available on the Mustang Mach E on models built from November 2022 onwards for a monthly subscription.

Ford BlueCruise system

The level 2 system (level 5 being theoretical full autonomy) builds on the adaptive cruise control already fitted to the Mustang Mach E, but will use sensors in the cabin to ensure you continue to pay attention.

Using a ‘hands-off, eyes up’ approach, drivers can take their hands off the wheel when the system is activated. But using infrared sensors in the dashboard, the car will detect if you take your eyes off the road in front.

If the sensors – mounted below the instrument panel – detect you’re not paying attention, the car will first give you a warning message. If there’s continued inactivity, there will be audible alerts, the brakes being applied and slowing the car down with steering control from the vehicle.

You’ll be able to use BlueCruise at up to speeds of 80mph, with cameras and sensors keeping a lookout for other vehicles around you.

Using Ford BlueCruise

Ford has analysed 2,300 miles of the UK’s roads to make sure it’s prepared for the system. For European roads, Ford has done over 100,000 miles of testing, while the setup has already been used over 64 million miles collectively in the United States and Canada.

Drivers will need to pay £17.99 per month to activate the system on cars built from November 2022 onwards. Ford is also looking to add it to vehicles fitted with Tech Pack and Tech Pack + built before that time.

Driverless technology is seen as a key step in the future of mobility. Level 2 states that the driver needs to continue to pay attention on the road ahead, while the car controls the speed and steering.

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