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Automakers have recently developed different types of driver assistance systems. But let's be clear: hands-free driving is a big problem. Unsurprisingly, Ford hasn't been idle and has developed its own system, BlueCruise.

The system is, for the moment, only available in specific models. It is the case for the Mustang Mach-E and the F-150 first, but the other models that receive the new SYNC 4 system will soon be eligible for BlueCruise as well. Eventually, the entire lineup will be equipped with it.

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What is BlueCruise?

BlueCruise is an evolution of Ford's Co-Pilot 360 and Active Drive Assist package, which adds features such as adaptive cruise control with intelligent stop/start, lane centring and speed sign recognition.

The system includes nearly 300,000 highway kilometres, scattered across North America, where they can let go of the wheel and let their Ford drive. These areas are called "hands-free blue zones" and have already been scanned by Ford's GPS mapping system. To accomplish this, Ford has created what has been called "The Mother of All Road Trips," driving these miles to gather information. A total of 37 U.S. states and 5 Canadian provinces were visited before the launch. However, data continues to be collected throughout the year.

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When vehicles enter one of these zones, a blue light in the instrument cluster illuminates, and the driver information screen indicates that you are ready and able to take the reins.

BlueCruise uses advanced cameras and radar sensors to adapt to changing road conditions. Ford says it's a Level 2 SAE system similar to some competitors. Autonomously, BlueCruise can negotiate turns on sloping interstate highways and adjust its speed to maintain a constant distance between the vehicle and those in front of it.

Features such as lane change assist will be rolled out at a later date, at which time owners will be able to receive updates via the air. Drivers will command a turn or passing maneuver by simply activating the turn signal. Another luxury, the predictive speed assistant, will launch later and anticipate turns in the road, reducing the vehicle's speed for a smoother, more natural ride.

As additional miles of roadway are approved to become Hands-Free Blue Zones, wireless upgrades will also be offered to owners so they can expand their vehicle's capabilities from their garage.

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