In 2021, Ford’s BlueCruise (then called ActiveGlide in Lincolns) cruised into second place in the Level 2 hands-free driver-assist system wars behind GM’s Super Cruise. The system is updated to variation 1.2 for 2023, and when the new Lincoln Corsair equipped with BlueCruise 1.2 shown up in my driveway, I expected it to disappoint due to a lack of hardware modifications. It seemed unrealistic to me that Ford might code its way out of the system’s shortages.
I was wrong. While the latest model of BlueCruise is still in 2nd location behind Super Cruise, Ford has narrowed the space and in one method eclipsed GM’s system with a wise new function that goes even more than GM’s system.
Let’s take a road trip (well, actually 2) and I’ll discuss.
Ford smoothed out BlueCruise with 1.2
The very first version of BlueCruise seemed like it was a bit drunk. Not able to select a centerline in its lane, the system allowed the vehicle to ping-pong backward and forward within the lane. The guiding wheel made consistent corrections even on a straight road. With the latest software, it exhibits none of that.
On a trip to our household home, the gauge cluster signaled me that ActiveGlide, which was the old name for the system due to the fact that now it’s identified BlueCruise like in Fords, was available as I combined onto highway 694 headed north. A quick flick of the cruise control button on the guiding wheel and the system took over. The gauge cluster showed a blue Lincoln graphic driving down a blue roadway, and a blue steering wheel sparkled to alert me that the system was driving hands-free. Lincoln’s new BlueCruise 1.2 user interface is reminiscent of a blue version of Mario Kart’s Rainbow Highway. It’s a prettier user interface than before and does a much better job of aesthetically explaining what’s occurring with the lorry. It’s likewise simpler to tell that the system is engaged than Super Cruise’s user interface.
The Corsair stayed directly, and as we approached a long left-hand sweeper I prepared to take control of steering tasks, expecting the system to bail out and hand the driving back to me. That’s what happened with variation 1.0 due to the fact that it couldn’t deal with even the most convenient of curves. However this time it didn’t falter. It just kept driving.
As the roadway continued, the Corsair didn’t ping-pong in the lane. It remained nearly dead center. The system didn’t request me to take over guiding tasks for over an hour.
BlueCruise still isn’t mindful enough
As traffic integrated in front people, I once again prepared to take control of. Previously, the system didn’t sense traffic structure ahead as rapidly as Super Cruise, nor did it use the brake or throttle as smoothly as GM’s system in stop-and-go traffic. This time the system still didn’t see the traffic ahead. My partner Karen is prone to motion sickness, so I took control of to use the brakes early as we approached slower moving traffic. Upon reengaging the system, it became clear that while braking and throttle are smoother than previously, they’re still not as smooth as they are with Super Cruise and might cause motion sickness if experienced long enough in stop-and-go traffic.
The system still lacks a high-definition GPS receiver (which Super Cruise has) and depends on radar map data instead of lidar map information. The previous means the system still depends on a basic GPS receiver (which can just position a car on a road, not in a lane) and the built-in cameras to identify where on the road particularly, down to the lane, the car is. Cameras can’t translucent cars, so if the automobile’s in a middle lane and surrounded by cars and trucks on both sides, it has no hint which lane it’s driving in. Less detailed map data seems to be less of an issue than the lane awareness, which might explain what I experienced next.
BlueCruise 1.2 can change lanes, but needs motorist engagement
Automobiles with both Super Cruise and BlueCruise can now alter lanes, however the systems aren’t equal. Super Cruise will instantly examine the scenario, engage the turn signal, modification lanes, pass slower moving traffic, and immediately alter back into the best lane, or at least out of the left lane, to observe appropriate lane etiquette. BlueCruise needs user engagement.
Upon approaching slower automobiles, the Corsair decreased to match their speed utilizing the adaptive cruise control system. I tapped the turn signal stalk to engage a lane change, however didn’t touch the steering wheel. The system carried out a fast awareness consult the parking sensors, blind-spot tracking system, and cameras to figure out if it was safe and clear to change lanes. It was, and the system performed the lane modification completely, but then it simply kept driving in the left lane. I needed to tap the turn signal stalk again for the system to inspect the scenario, and after that carry out the lane change to return into the best lane as one should while driving down the highway. At times, though inconsistently, the system prompted me to engage a lane modification as I approached slower traffic. It’s uncertain why it didn’t happen all the time.
BlueCruise 1.2 hugs the shoulder for security
As I passed a semi, I noticed that both the vehicle itself, and the image of the lorry on the digital gauge cluster, scooched left and hugged the shoulder. When past the semi the Corsair returned into the center of the lane. This happened every time we passed an automobile to differing degrees. Ford has actually now programmed the system to move over in the name of security.
Super Cruise does this as well, however only up to 25 cm and it’s hardly noticeable. Ford’s system provides a bigger space between your automobile and the one being passed in case they aren’t rather as skilled at staying in between the lines. Things can get a bit tense with Super Cruise at times when passing an 18-wheeler or a distracted Chevy Suburban motorist.
BlueCruise 1.2 doesn’t recognize roadway construction
Both BlueCruise and Super Cruise can only be engaged on roads with map data. Super Cruise has more than 400,000 miles of map information, while Blue Cruise only has 130,000 miles. The largest disparities in between the two are semi-divided and concentrated highways, both of which Super Cruise works on while BlueCruise doesn’t.
However neither system is expected to be utilized in building and construction zones. In my experience, Super Cruise knows when it gets in a building zone, provides a warning, and closes down, needing the motorist to take over. BlueCruise didn’t recognize construction zones. I let the system keep choosing my hand millimeters from the wheel for security. Less than a minute later I shut the system down and took control of due to the fact that I feared we may encounter oncoming traffic or a cement barrier. Building work rerouted the divided highway into a head-on two-lane setup with orange dividers in between the lanes. Later on, the system didn’t acknowledge another construction zone and would’ve run us straight into a traffic barrier had I not stepped in.
BlueCruise 1.2 still has problem with sunsets
BlueCruise works perfectly great in the sun and in the dark, as well as with polarized sunglasses. But the system continues to have a hard time at sunset. As the sun reduced in the sky, the infrared sensing units could not see my retinas. This set off the system to demand my attention, although I was taking note. Eventually, the signals changed to brake checks, which triggered me to just take control of driving duties until the sun was low enough for the system to read my eyes again.
BlueCruise still can’t tow, drive through tunnels
Ford and Lincoln owners will have to keep their hands on the wheel both while towing and driving through tunnels. Super Cruise users don’t have an issue with hands-free driving doing either of these things.
BlueCruise 1.2 enhances but stays in second place
BlueCruise 1.3 is currently in the works, though it hasn’t rolled out yet. The next update will keep the system engaged through tighter curves and place the automobile a lot more accurately than variation 1.2. Neither of these circumstances were a concern for me with 1.2.
Ford’s system has actually made leaps and bounds with the latest update over version 1.0, needing far fewer handoffs, less ping-pong action, and smoother moves while adopting a brand-new interface and the capability to move over when passing another lorry.
Despite the update, BlueCruise still takes a rear seats to Super Cruise. However that will not apply for long, as several automakers are dealing with Level 2 and even Level 3 systems that might exceed them both.