Ford has announced it will delay the initial release of its BlueCruise competitor to Tesla’s Autopilot and GM’s SuperCruise until the first quarter of 2022.
BlueCruise is a level 2 driver assistance feature that is very similar to the SuperCruise system offered on some Cadillac models because it lets the driver remove their hands from the steering wheel when the car is driving on major highways that have been mapped by Ford.
This doesn’t make it a fully autonomous system because drivers need to pay constant attention to the road, something that is verified by an infrared camera located on the steering column of cars equipped to receive BlueCruise.
Many new Ford models are being sold with all of the hardware necessary for this system and the functionalities will be activated via an over-the-air update (OTA) early next year.
Since BlueCruise is available on many of its most popular models, including the F-150, Ford expects to sell over 100,000 vehicles equipped with it in 2022 alone.
The reason given by Ford to justify the delay is that the company wants to fine tune the system and make it easier to use and more intuitive for the customers, presumably by modifying the controls and the displays that inform drivers of the current status of the system.
Since the system is limited to certain stretches of highways that have previously been mapped by Ford, it will be interesting to see how the company will improve it to keep up with General Motors who intends to launch UltraCruise in 2023 and Tesla who is currently testing the Beta of its Full Self-Driving, two systems that promise to take care of driving duties in almost every situation.