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.
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.
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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.