Driving is becoming increasingly tech-oriented. As roads get busier, keeping up with the ever-evolving trends in vehicular safety and convenience becomes more challenging. Recognizing this need for enhanced driving assistance, Ford Motor Company introduced the Ford Co-Pilot360™ and BlueCruise. But what are these systems, and how can they enhance your driving experience for electric vehicles like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning? Let’s take a closer look.
Ford Co-Pilot360™: Your Virtual Copilot
Ford Co-Pilot360™ is a comprehensive suite of advanced driver-assist features designed to make your driving experience safer and more enjoyable. This system comprises several key features:
Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB)
AEB is designed to prevent accidents. It automatically applies the brakes if it senses a potential collision with another vehicle or object.
Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)
Drifting out of your lane can be dangerous. LKA provides steering assistance, helping you stay securely within your lane.
Blind Spot Information System (BLIS)
BLIS warns you if there’s a vehicle in your blind spot, thus adding an extra layer of safety when changing lanes.
Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
Backing out of a parking spot or driveway? RCTA warns you if there’s a vehicle crossing your path, helping prevent accidental collisions.
The Extras: More Safety, More Comfort
In addition to the core features, Co-Pilot360™ includes several other handy driving assists:
Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection
This feature further boosts your car’s preventive safety measures. It automatically applies the brakes if it senses a likely collision with a pedestrian.
Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control (IACC)
Long drives can be tiring, but IACC is here to help. This feature lets you set a cruising speed and following distance, adjusting your speed automatically to maintain the set distance from the vehicle ahead.
Evasive Steering Assist
Sometimes, braking alone might not prevent a collision. This feature helps you steer around obstacles detected by the AEB system.
Accidents can cause panic, leading to further collisions. This feature automatically applies the brakes after a collision, helping to prevent additional impacts.
Rear View Camera
No more guessing what’s behind you. This feature gives you a clear view of what’s behind your vehicle when you’re backing up.
Auto High-Beam Headlamps
Driving at night in areas with little or no lighting can be dangerous. This feature automatically turns on your high beams when there’s no oncoming traffic or vehicles in front of you, enhancing visibility.
BlueCruise: Enhancing the Cruise Control Experience
Building on the benefits of the Co-Pilot360 Assist package, Ford also offers an advanced upgrade known as BlueCruise. This feature provides hands-free highway driving, significantly changing the dynamic behind the wheel.
BlueCruise uses an integrated system of cameras, radar, and sensors to keep your vehicle centered in its lane and maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle ahead. However, it’s essential to note that this system is available only on select Ford vehicles and on pre-qualified sections of divided highways in the United States and Canada.
While BlueCruise brings a wealth of benefits to long highway drives, it doesn’t eliminate the need for attentive driving. Even with hands off the wheel, drivers must remain alert and ready to take control at any moment. Here’s a closer look at the benefits and limitations of BlueCruise:
Advantages of BlueCruise
- Reduced driver fatigue: BlueCruise allows drivers to relax their grip and take their hands off the steering wheel, helping to reduce fatigue on long drives.
- Improved safety: By allowing drivers to focus on the road ahead, BlueCruise enhances safety, particularly in challenging driving conditions like heavy traffic or bad weather.
- Relaxed driving experience: With the chance to focus more on the scenery or enjoy music, BlueCruise makes for a more enjoyable driving experience.
Understanding BlueCruise’s Limitations
- Limited highway usage: BlueCruise can’t be used on all highways, only on pre-qualified sections of divided highways.
- Requires driver attention: Drivers can’t fully relax while using BlueCruise and must always be prepared to take control of the vehicle.
- Not a substitute for safe driving: BlueCruise enhances driving safety but doesn’t replace the need for safe driving habits. Drivers must remain aware of their surroundings and be ready to take action if necessary.
BlueCruise: A Premium Subscription Feature
It’s essential to point out that the convenience of BlueCruise does come at a premium cost. This advanced hands-free driving feature isn’t included in the base price of a Ford vehicle. Instead, it’s offered as a subscription service. After an initial 90-day trial period, customers can opt to continue the service at a cost (subject to change) of $75 per month or $800 per year. Alternatively, they can choose a three-year subscription which comes at a substantial price of $2,100. While this might seem like a hefty additional expense, many drivers find the enhanced safety, relaxation, and the overall improved driving experience provided by BlueCruise to be worth the investment. This pricing strategy emphasizes Ford’s commitment to providing premium and cutting-edge technologies to enhance their customers’ driving experiences.
Ford Co-Pilot360™ and BlueCruise Conclusion: Drive Safe, Drive Smart
In summary, Ford Co-Pilot360™ and BlueCruise provide a range of valuable tools to enhance your safety and comfort on the road. By combining traditional safe driving practices with these innovative features, you can enjoy a more relaxed, confident driving experience. Don’t forget to consult your Ford dealer for more information about the availability of these features in your chosen vehicle model or trim. Here’s to safer, smarter driving!
Images used Courtesy of Ford Motor Company
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