Ford executives said Wednesday night that BlueCruise hands-free driver assistance will not reach car owners until the first quarter of 2022. BlueCruise is regarded by Ford as a viable competitor to General Motors Super Cruise and Tesla Autopilot.Ford originally planned to push an over-the-air (OTA) software update for specific Ford customers before the end of 2021 to activate BlueCruise.
In an earnings conference call with investors, Ford CEO Jim Farley (Jim Farley) said that the company’s engineers need a little more time to optimize advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) to improve the customer experience, so Ford is in OTA has postponed. Usually these level 2 autopilot systems require multiple updates to the car.
According to the definition of automation level of the Society of Automotive Engineers, the secondary system works in conjunction with some unique functions, such as adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, blind spot detection, pedestrian monitoring, and stop sign detection. These systems do not make the vehicle self-driving, because the driver needs to be vigilant and keep his eyes on the road.
Ford also includes an active driving monitoring system in the form of an infrared sensor mounted on the steering column to track the driver’s eyes to ensure that they keep their eyes on the road. In this way, drivers can remove their hands from the steering wheel on pre-qualified bifurcation road sections drawn by Ford. Ford said that it is currently shipping 2021 F-150 pickups and 2021 Mustang Mach-E SUVs to customers, and provides BlueCruise functionality, but the system will not be activated until the OTA software update is ready.
As automakers seek to introduce more advanced systems to customers, the competition for ADAS in the automotive industry has become very fierce. GM recently announced a new version called “Super Cruise”, which will cover 95% of all driving scenarios when it is shipped in 2023.