The age of autonomous driving is inching closer to reality. Ford's electric vehicle, the Mustang Mach-E, has gained a unique permit in Germany that allows drivers to enjoy a novel hands-free driving experience, thanks to the BlueCruise system. However, there's no need to fret – this technology does not transform your car into a self-driving machine but provides advanced assistance, ensuring both safety and comfort.
Navigating the German Autobahns
Ford’s BlueCruise technology is making waves in Germany, offering drivers the ability to experience hands-free driving in specially designated “blue zones” while cruising at speeds of up to 130 km/h (80 mph). But, before you envision completely removing your hands from the wheel and settling into the back seat, keep in mind that vigilant attention to the road remains a crucial requirement.
The BlueCruise system is classified as a Level 2+ driver assistance technology, signifying its capability to monitor traffic signs, speed limits, and road conditions. It then adjusts your vehicle’s position within its lane and controls acceleration and braking while maintaining a safe following distance from the vehicle ahead.
BlueCruise’s Journey to Germany
Before arriving in Germany, the BlueCruise technology went through rigorous testing in the United States and Canada, assisting during 102 million kilometers of travel. The system was also extensively tested in Europe, with Ford vehicles covering 160,000 test kilometers. This extensive evaluation ensures the technology’s reliability and safety.
Prioritizing Driver Comfort
Ford’s primary objective with the BlueCruise system is to enhance the driver’s experience and reduce fatigue during long journeys. To guarantee its reliability, the technology relies on an infrared camera placed behind the steering wheel to ensure that the driver is attentively observing the road.
Martin Sandler, CEO of Ford Model e Europe, expressed their enthusiasm, saying, “We are pleased to offer this innovative technology to users in Germany following its European debut in the United Kingdom. Ford BlueCruise introduces an entirely new level of driver comfort, significantly simplifying long-distance highway travel by intelligently, reliably, and, most importantly, safely assisting drivers.”
With this development, the future of driving becomes more exciting. While fully autonomous vehicles are still on the horizon, Ford’s BlueCruise takes us one step closer, offering a taste of what’s to come in the world of advanced driver assistance systems.