Ford has announced the launch of its new hands-off driving technology, which enables drivers to take their hands off the wheel while driving on motorways in the UK. The technology, called "BlueCruise", uses advanced sensors, cameras and radar to monitor the road and surrounding traffic, allowing the vehicle to maintain its speed and distance from other vehicles, as well as stay within its lane.
The BlueCruise system is designed to work on pre-mapped highways and motorways, and uses a driver-facing camera to ensure that the driver is paying attention to the road and is ready to take control of the vehicle if needed. The system also includes a number of safety features, such as automatic emergency braking and blind spot detection, to reduce the risk of accidents.
The launch of BlueCruise marks the first time that hands-off driving technology has been legally approved for use on UK roads. The technology has been tested extensively by Ford and has been approved by the UK government's Department for Transport.
The BlueCruise system will be available as an option on selected Ford models, including the new Mustang Mach-E and the F-150 pickup truck, from later this year. The cost of the system is expected to be around £3,000.
Ford's launch of the BlueCruise system is part of its wider strategy to develop and market advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving technology. The company has previously announced plans to invest £29 billion in electric and autonomous vehicle development by 2025.