The latest version of Ford’s BlueCruise highway self-driving suite is currently percolating through the company’s lineup. Like GM, Ford has chosen to consolidate the branding of its self-driving software. It started with Lincoln’s announcement that the 2023 Corsair would be the first to drop the use of “ActiveGlide” for its variant and join Ford in simply calling it “BlueCruise.” No matter whether you opt for a Ford or Lincoln, the underlying hardware and software is the same, so it makes sense that the name would be too. And frankly, ActiveGlide sounded like a drugstore shave product on its best day; the name won’t be missed.
This new 1.2 version of BlueCruise comes with a host of small updates and refinements, including new programming that helps space your car out from others on the freeway, but the headliner is the addition of hands-free lane changes. A couple weeks back, Ford sent me a 2023 Mustang Mach-E to try it out for myself. Since BlueCruise is a highway-only system, the test basically defined itself. I picked out a stretch of MI-5 running through Farmington Hills, Mich., as my predefined route. It’s a relatively short limited-access highway that is reduced to a surface street at each terminus, providing opportunities to see the system engage and disengage at predictable intervals. Check out the video to see this in action.
Even with these updates, Ford is still several steps behind GM, whose Super Cruise can now automatically detect slow traffic and initiate a pass without driver intervention, and Tesla’s Autopilot, which has been available to the public for years longer than either GM or Ford’s solution. BlueCruise also lacks some of the trailering features GM has incorporated into its latest suite. Of course, unlike Tesla, neither GM nor Ford has moved beyond the highway space to offer a true competitor to Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” package. Depending on who you ask, that’s probably a good thing.