How Ford’s BlueCruise hands-free tech is keeping drivers safe and even changing lives

How Ford’s BlueCruise hands-free tech is keeping drivers safe and even changing lives

Ford’s BlueCruise hands-free technology is receiving high praise with advanced features that enhance safety and drivers’ comfort, but for some, the feature is worth more. It can be life-changing.

BlueCruise is an SAE Level 2 driver assist technology similar to Tesla’s Autopilot. However, Ford’s driver assist is unique in offering a genuinely hands-free experience – while in “Hands-Free” mode, it doesn’t require you to stay in contact with the steering wheel.

Instead, BlueCruise communicates with drivers in a different way. It uses a driver-facing camera and infrared lighting to monitor your eyes and head position to determine if you’re paying attention.

When active, if the system finds you distracted, it will alert you to return your eyes to the road. The feature is available in Ford and Lincoln models like the 2023 Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning.

Since unveiling BlueCruise in April 2021, the feature has provided millions of hands-free highway driving miles with advanced features such as:

  • Stop-and-Go
  • Lane Centering
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Speed Sign Recognition

Ford’s BlueCruise recently claimed the top spot in Consumer Reports latest driving active driving assistance systems (ADAS) ranking for EV makers. BlueCruise’s difference maker is the use of direct driver monitoring systems, requiring drivers to keep their eyes on the road while the system is doing the steering, acceleration, and braking.

Although BlueCruise is helping drivers stay safe on the highway, it’s helping others in a way they thought would never be possible.

Ford’s BlueCruise is more than a feature, it’s a way of life

In a newly released video, a mom and son that for years had difficulties communicating in the car due to hearing impairments use Ford’s BlueCruise hands-free feature in a Mustang Mach-E, enabling them to drive and communicate simultaneously for the first time.

Although the video is only 30 seconds long, it packs a powerful message. Ford’s hands-free driving technology can be life-changing.

In an interview with the family, the mother, Arlene Ngalle, explained how challenging it could be to talk with one hand while driving, but even more difficult to get the attention of her son, Darien Mikey Lopez, because of her eyes being required on the road.

Arlene Ngalle and Darien Mikey Lopez using Ford BlueCruise hands-free (Source: Ford)

Before hands-free driving, Arlene wouldn’t typically talk or would have to communicate “in moments” in the car because of it. You can only imagine how frustrating an experience that may be.

She added that deaf people are often mistaken for being drunk because the effort it takes to communicate and drive often results in swerving.

After trying the BlueCrusie hands-free feature, Arlene says she is “more confident” and trusts the car to drive itself without worrying about speed or swerving.

She is also more confident in Darien learning to drive with helpful features that warn you when a car gets too close, and self-corrects, which ultimately reduce the chances of careless little accidents.

Although Arlene says it’s tempting to have a full-blown conversation now, the system still will alert her when her eyes are off the road, keeping her and Darien safe.

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