With eye on Tesla, Ford to roll out self-drive tech to select vehicle via OTA
Ford has officially confirmed that the 2021 Mustang Mach-E and 2021 F-150 will be its first two models to be equipped with its self-drive technology called Blue Cruise, and that this will be rolled out via OTA in the later parts of this year. Self-drive vehicles are gradually catching pace in the United States with Tesla leading the pack when it comes to autonomous-drive technology. But the likes of Ford aren't lagging too far behind and the American car maker has set a rather bold goal of selling as many as 1 lakh units which have Blue Cruise by the end of this current calendar year.
Ford is planning to roll out Blue Cruise to the 2021 Mustang Mach-E and 2021 F-150 by the third quarter of this year and customers will have to shell out an additional $600 for it. Additionally, only models equipped with Co-Pilot 360 Active 2.0 will get Blue Cruise. That shouldn't be much of a concern for owners of the Mach-E because it gets Co-Pilot 360 Active 2.0 on every variant save the base. The feature, however, is only available in the top-of-the-line F-150. All customers, regardless of variants, can choose to buy it as an optional extra.
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It may well be worth the investment just to get Ford's Blue Cruise because the car maker has been making big claims about it. Essentially a Level 2 Autonomous System, Blue Cruise makes use of data collected from a high-end camera and radar-sensing gizmos to offer a hands-free drive experience. It claims to communicate with the driver using both light cues and text in the driver-display screen - something not all rivals can claim with their respective self-drive tech.
Having the technology doesn't necessarily mean a driver can just let go at any time. Designated highway zones have been categorized for it with Ford categorizing around 160,900 kilometres across North America as Hands-Free Blue Zones. The topic of having cars drive without hands on the steering, however, remains a debatable one with arguments aplenty from both sides.