Ford BlueCruise hands-free driving tech is the first of its kind approved in Europe

Have you ever sat in a motorway jam and dreamed of a car that was allowed to stop, go and steer hands-free to automatically keep pace with traffic?

Or thought how convenient it would be if your car was permitted to cruise in free-flowing traffic while you observed with your hands off the wheel during a long holiday road trip?

If the answer is yes, then we have great news, because Ford has become the first carmaker in Europe to get the green light for drivers to use a “hands-off, eyes-on” advanced driver assistance system (ADAS).

Drivers of our all-electric Mustang Mach-E 1 SUV 2023 model year 2 in Great Britain 3 can now use Ford BlueCruise 4,5 hands-free technology on pre-defined sections of motorway – called Blue Zones.

The technology is designed to take ADAS comfort and convenience benefits to the next level. It uses radars, cameras and a powerful computing system to monitor road markings, speed signs and evolving traffic conditions, and then control steering, acceleration and braking while smoothly maintaining consistent distances to vehicles ahead.

The system can even adjust lane positioning to make the hands-free experience feel more natural by subtly shifting away from vehicles in adjacent lanes – something drivers tend to do intuitively when alongside larger trucks.

Using the sat-nav system, the technology can tell when a driver is on a stretch of 2,300 miles (3,700 km) of Blue Zone motorways in the UK. It works at highway cruising speeds up to 80 mph (130 km/h) and right down to a complete halt in traffic jams – making free-flowing or stop-start traffic effortless to negotiate.

Crucially, the system also uses infrared camera technology to continually check the driver’s attentiveness. The sophisticated camera can even see through sunglasses to check that driver attention is focused on the road ahead.

If the system detects inattention, warning messages are displayed in the instrument cluster, followed by audible alerts, brake activations, and finally slowing of the vehicle while maintaining steering control. Similar actions are performed if the driver fails to place their hands back on the steering wheel when prompted when leaving a Blue Zone. 

There’s a good reason why Ford BlueCruise is the first hands-free driving system of its kind to be cleared for use in a European country: We’ve proven that it can support the driver while still requiring that they keep their eyes on the road for their safety and that of their passengers."
Torsten Wey, chief engineer,
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, Ford Europe

The first 90 days of BlueCruise are included with the vehicle purchase, followed by monthly subscription 6 that means drivers can enable it around anticipated vehicle use – like holidays and road trips.

The system was validated during more than 700,000 miles (1.1 million km) of ADAS testing globally to make sure it can handle conditions drivers encounter every day – like worn-out lane markings, poor weather and roadworks. In the US and Canada, where 64 million hands-free miles (102 million km) have already been driven in 193,000 BlueCruise-equipped Ford and Lincoln vehicles, the tech was recently named the Consumer Reports Top Rated Active Driving Assistance System, ahead of 11 other systems in the market. 

1 In accordance with the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP). A range of up to 600 km (intended target value according to WLTP) can be achieved with a fully charged battery - depending on the existing series and battery configuration. The actual range may vary due to various factors (e.g. weather conditions, driving style, route profile, vehicle condition, age and condition of the lithium-ion battery).

2 Mustang Mach-E model year 2023 production from November 2022. Consult vehicle documentation or with Ford dealer for individual vehicle build date.

3 Not available in Northern Ireland.

4 Driver-assist features are supplemental and do not replace the driver’s attention, judgment and need to control the vehicle.

5 Ford BlueCruise is a hands-free highway driving feature. Only remove hands from the steering wheel when in a Hands-Free Blue Zone. Always watch the road and be prepared to resume control of the vehicle. It does not replace safe driving. See Owner's Manual for details and limitations. [The BlueCruise Prep Kit contains the hardware required for this feature.]  Requires purchased BlueCruise subscription to cover data usage, regular map updates and feature improvements. To use BlueCruise you will need to activate your Mustang Mach-E using the FordPass App.

6 BlueCruise capability comes as standard on model year 2023 Mustang Mach-E vehicles. Subscribers receive the first 90 days free to trial the feature, and can cancel at any time. FordPass Connect must be activated prior to BlueCruise being enabled.