While the idea of self-driving cars may sound like something from the future, the reality of hands-free driving is much closer than you might think. Ford and General Motors have both been working on new self-driving systems that are beginning to find their way into some of the latest new models. For Chevy and other GM models, the tech has been dubbed Super Cruise, and for Ford, it’s being called BlueCruise.
A few years back, Ford began to add new safety features to their lineup, including blind spot monitoring, lane departure detection, adaptive cruise control and more. The safety features utilize a fleet of cameras and sensors to help the vehicle understand its surroundings and position on the road. BlueCruise simply takes the feedback from those systems and allows the car to navigate the road completely on its own.
It’s important to keep in mind that the technology is still in its infancy, and as an added safety measure, the BlueCruise system can only be turned on at certain highway speeds, and when the vehicle is traveling in pre-mapped stretches of road – what Ford has called Hands-Free Blue Zones. While it may sound limiting, these mapped zones currently account for over 130,000 miles of road in North America.
In addition to sticking to the roads that it knows, Ford BlueCruise relies on another key feature that helps to keep you safe when driving hands-free. At the top of the steering column is an infrared camera that helps to monitor the driver. It focuses in on the eyes and ensures that the driver is active and has their eyes on the road, which reduces the chance of distracted drivers taking advantage of the system.
Another unique feature of the system is its ability to work with the driver. Most modern systems turn off hands-free mode when the driver takes back over, but the BlueCruise system allows you to make a maneuver – say swerve around a pothole – but picks up right where it left off by recentering the vehicle in the lane and allowing you to take your hands off the wheel to resume the self-driving mode.
When you want it on or off, all it takes is a click of a button on the steering wheel. Easy as it gets.
With plenty of stretch of highway spread throughout this great state, we know that Gainesville area drivers will love the hands-free capabilities of the Ford BlueCruise system, and we can’t wait to show you all that it can do. Check out our inventory to see our complete selection of Ford vehicles and give us a call to learn more about the new Ford models that are starting to be equipped with the technology.