Ford’s BlueCruise 1.2 good points functionality and smoothes tough edges

In 2021, Ford’s BlueCruise (then referred to as ActiveGlide in Lincolns) cruised into second place within the Stage 2 hands-free driver-assist system wars behind GM’s Tremendous Cruise. The system is upgraded to model 1.2 for 2023, and when the brand new Lincoln Corsair geared up with BlueCruise 1.2 arrived in my driveway, I anticipated it to disappoint attributable to an absence of {hardware} adjustments. It appeared unrealistic to me that Ford may code its approach out of the system’s deficiencies.

I used to be flawed. Whereas the most recent iteration of BlueCruise remains to be in second place behind Tremendous Cruise, the Blue Oval has narrowed the hole and in a technique overshadowed GM’s system with a wise new characteristic. 

Let’s take a street journey (nicely, truly two) and I’ll clarify.

Ford BlueCruise 1.2

Ford BlueCruise 1.2

Ford smoothed out BlueCruise with 1.2

The primary iteration of BlueCruise appeared prefer it was a bit drunk. Unable to choose a centerline in its lane, the system allowed the automobile to ping pong forwards and backwards throughout the lane. The steering wheel made fixed corrections even on a straight street. With the most recent software program, it reveals none of that. 

On a visit to our household cottage, the gauge cluster alerted me that ActiveGlide, which was the outdated identify for the system as a result of now it’s labeled BlueCruise like in Fords, was obtainable as I merged onto freeway 694 headed north. A fast flick of the cruise management button on the steering wheel and the system took over. The gauge cluster confirmed a blue Lincoln graphic driving down a blue street, and a blue steering wheel sparkled to alert me that the system was driving fingers free. Lincoln’s new BlueCruise 1.2 interface is paying homage to a blue model of Mario Kart’s Rainbow Freeway. It’s a prettier interface than earlier than and does a greater job of visually explaining what’s taking place with the automobile. It’s additionally simpler to inform that the system is engaged than Tremendous Cruise’s interface.

The Corsair stayed straight, and as we approached a protracted left-hand sweeper I ready to take over steering duties, anticipating the system to bail out and hand the driving again to me. That’s what occurred with model 1.0 as a result of it could not deal with even the best of curves. However this time it didn’t falter. It simply stored driving. 

Because the street continued, the Corsair didn’t ping pong within the lane. It simply stayed practically useless heart. The system didn’t ask for me to take over steering duties for greater than an hour.

Ford BlueCruise 1.2

Ford BlueCruise 1.2

BlueCruise nonetheless isn’t conscious sufficient

As site visitors inbuilt entrance of us, I once more ready to take over. Beforehand, the system didn’t sense site visitors constructing forward as rapidly as Tremendous Cruise, nor did it apply the brake or throttle as easily as GM’s system in stop-and-go site visitors. This time the system nonetheless didn’t see the site visitors forward. My spouse Karen is liable to movement illness, so I took over to use the brakes early as we approached slower shifting site visitors. Upon reengaging the system, it turned clear that whereas braking and throttle are smoother than earlier than, they’re nonetheless not as easy as they’re with Tremendous Cruise and will induce movement illness if skilled lengthy sufficient in stop-and-go site visitors.

The system nonetheless lacks a high-definition GPS receiver (which Tremendous Cruise has) and depends on radar map knowledge quite than lidar map knowledge. The previous means the system nonetheless depends on a normal GPS receiver (which may solely place a automobile on a street, not in a lane) and the built-in cameras to find out the place on the street particularly, all the way down to the lane, the automobile is. Cameras can’t see by way of automobiles, so if the automobile’s in a center lane and surrounded by automobiles on each side, it has no clue which lane it’s driving in. Much less detailed map knowledge appears to be much less of a difficulty than the lane consciousness, which could clarify what I skilled subsequent.

Ford BlueCruise 1.2

Ford BlueCruise 1.2

BlueCruise 1.2 can change lanes, however requires driver engagement

Automobiles with each Tremendous Cruise and BlueCruise can now change lanes, however the programs aren’t equal. Tremendous Cruise will robotically assess the state of affairs, interact the flip sign, change lanes, cross slower shifting site visitors, and instantly change again into the fitting lane, or at the very least out of the left lane, to look at correct lane etiquette. BlueCruise requires consumer engagement.

Upon approaching slower automobiles, the Corsair slowed all the way down to match their pace utilizing the adaptive cruise management system. I tapped the flip sign stalk to interact a lane change, however didn’t contact the steering wheel. The system carried out a fast consciousness examine with the parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring system, and cameras to find out if it was secure and clear to vary lanes. It was, and the system carried out the lane change completely, however then it simply stored driving within the left lane. I needed to faucet the flip sign stalk once more for the system to examine the state of affairs, after which execute the lane change to maneuver again into the fitting lane as one ought to whereas driving down the freeway. At instances, although inconsistently, the system prompted me to interact a lane change as I approached slower site visitors. It is unclear why it didn’t occur on a regular basis.

Ford BlueCruise 1.2

Ford BlueCruise 1.2

BlueCruise 1.2 hugs the shoulder for security

As I handed a semi, I seen that each the automobile itself, and the picture of the automobile on the digital gauge cluster, scooched left and hugged the shoulder. As soon as previous the semi the Corsair moved again into the middle of the lane. This occurred each time we handed a automobile to various levels. Ford has now programmed the system to maneuver over within the identify of security. 

Tremendous Cruise doesn’t do that, nevertheless it actually ought to. It gives a bigger house between your automobile and the one being handed in case they aren’t fairly as adept at staying between the strains. Issues can get a bit squeamish with Tremendous Cruise at instances when passing an 18-wheeler or a distracted Chevy Suburban driver.

Ford BlueCruise 1.2

Ford BlueCruise 1.2

BlueCruise 1.2 doesn’t acknowledge street development

Each BlueCruise and Tremendous Cruise can solely be engaged on roads with map knowledge. Tremendous Cruise has greater than 400,000 miles of map knowledge, whereas Blue Cruise solely has 130,000 miles. The most important discrepancies between the 2 are semi-divided and undivided highways, each of which Tremendous Cruise works on whereas BlueCruise doesn’t. 

However neither system is meant for use in development zones. In my expertise, Tremendous Cruise is aware of when it enters a development zone, gives a warning, and shuts down, requiring the motive force to take over. BlueCruise didn’t acknowledge development zones. I let the system preserve going with my hand millimeters from the wheel for security. Lower than a minute later I shut the system down and took over as a result of I feared we would run into oncoming site visitors or a cement barrier. Development work rerouted the divided freeway right into a head-on two-lane setup with orange dividers between the lanes. Later, the system didn’t acknowledge one other development zone and would’ve run us instantly right into a site visitors barrier had I not intervened.

Ford BlueCruise 1.2

Ford BlueCruise 1.2

BlueCruise 1.2 nonetheless struggles with sunsets

BlueCruise works completely positive within the solar and at nighttime, in addition to with polarized sun shades. However the system continues to wrestle at nightfall. Because the solar lowered within the sky, the infrared sensors couldn’t see my retinas. This triggered the system to demand my consideration, though I used to be paying consideration. Finally, the alerts modified to brake checks, which induced me to only take over driving duties till the solar was low sufficient for the system to learn my eyes once more. 

BlueCruise nonetheless can’t tow, drive by way of tunnels

Ford and Lincoln homeowners must preserve their fingers on the wheel each whereas towing and driving by way of tunnels. Tremendous Cruise customers don’t have a difficulty with hands-free driving doing both of this stuff.

Ford BlueCruise 1.2

Ford BlueCruise 1.2

BlueCruise 1.2 improves however stays in second place

BlueCruise 1.3 is already within the works, although it hasn’t rolled out but. The following replace will preserve the system engaged by way of tighter curves and place the automobile much more precisely than model 1.2. Neither of those conditions have been a difficulty for me with 1.2. 

Ford’s system has made leaps and bounds with the most recent replace over model 1.0, requiring far fewer handoffs, much less ping-pong motion, and smoother strikes whereas adopting a brand new interface and the flexibility to scooch over when passing one other automobile. 

Regardless of the replace, BlueCruise nonetheless takes a again seat to Tremendous Cruise. However that received’t maintain true for lengthy, as a number of automakers are engaged on Stage 2 and even Stage 3 programs that would surpass them each.

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One response to “Ford’s BlueCruise 1.2 good points functionality and smoothes tough edges”

  1. Tyson Ferbrache Avatar
    Tyson Ferbrache

    💖 This post is overflowing with love and positivity! 💖

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