Ford's Bluecruise driver-assist system is getting some upgrades, including the ability to execute hands-free lane changes.
A new version of the system, dubbed Bluecruise 1.2, will arrive this fall beginning with the 2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E, Ford said Thursday in a press release. An Activeglide 1.2 version for Lincoln will follow as well.
With the upgraded system, drivers can execute a lane change simply by tapping the turn signal stalk, according to Ford. Bluecruise will also suggest lane changes when following slow-moving traffic. This functionality is comparable to what's already available from the rival General Motors Super Cruise system.
2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E
Bluecruise 1.2 and Activeglide 1.2 also add predictive speed assist, which automatically adjusts speed when approaching sharp curves. The system will signal the driver ahead of time so they know why the vehicle is decelerating, Ford noted.
A third new feature is in-lane repositioning, which moves the vehicle away from those in adjacent lanes. It's helpful when traveling next to wider vehicles, such as semi trucks, Ford noted.
In addition to the new features, engineers are continually improving the maps Bluecruise relies on with over-the-air (OTA) updates. Bluecruise only works on pre-mapped stretches of highway, with more than 130,000 miles currently available, according to Ford.
Ford Blue Cruise and Lincoln Activeglide map
As before, even on a qualified stretch of highway, Bluecruise needs to be able to identify lane markings and confirm the driver is keeping their eyes on the road to operate.
So far, 75,000 Ford and Lincoln owners have enabled Bluecruise or Activeglide, with more than 16 million hands-free miles logged through the end of August, according to Ford.