Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) has announced that it will begin to offer its BlueCruise hands free highway driving system to customers later this year. The company has spent 500,000 miles to develop, test and fine tune the technology across the United States and Canada. In 2020, Ford sent 10 test vehicles, five F-150 pickups and five all electric Mustang Mach-E SUVs to complete the “Mother of All Road Trips.” This trip covered over 110,000 miles through 37 states and five Canadian provinces to challenge BlueCruise against numerous roads, weather and traffic conditions.
“There are highway intricacies and driving conditions that you simply cannot replicate in a lab,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford chief product platform and operations officer. “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.” “I drive long-distance quite often, whether out to Boston or down to Florida to visit family or friends, and usually I mentally tire out on drives that far,” said Alexandra Taylor, BlueCruise feature development engineer, who logged more than 3,000 miles in an F-150 on the trek. “The one thing that became clear is that, when using BlueCruise, long drives aren’t nearly as mentally taxing to me.”
“It was like mission control,” Teems said. “We really wanted to push BlueCruise to its limits. Every state builds roads a little differently. When you include factors like lane line degradation, weather and construction, building a hands-free driving system becomes extremely complex. Those complexities are why Ford has the best team of engineers in the world working on it.”