In the summer of 2021, Ford Authority reported that Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 suite of driver-assist features was getting a new addition – Ford Active Drive Assist with Hands-Free Mode – which would allow hands-free driving on highways in the U.S. and Canada. Then, last October, FoMoCo provided information on how this feature would work in the 2021 Ford F-150 and 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E. This past April, Ford announced that the feature would be officially called BlueCruise and that it would launch later this year. Now, however, it seems that the Ford BlueCruise OTA rollout has been pushed back to 2022, according to CNBC.
Ford CEO Jim Farley told CNBC that the Ford BlueCruise OTA rollout was being delayed until Q1 of 2022 due to the automaker’s efforts to “simplify the technology” used by the new feature, as well as Lincoln’s version, dubbed ActiveGlide. As Ford Authority has reported over the last several months, similar technologies have faced increasing scrutiny from federal agencies, however.
For starters, a recent test of these systems found that every one of them can be “tricked” or outsmarted in some manner, circumventing requirements like the presence of a driver in the driver’s seat and the need for the driver to be paying attention to their surroundings. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently started requiring mandatory crash reporting for all vehicles sold with these systems and opened an investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot and Full Self-Driving features, after which it asked a dozen automakers – including Ford – to provide information regarding Level 2 driver-assist systems.
Additionally, General Motors and its self-driving subsidiary Cruise recently filed a lawsuit against Ford that aims to block The Blue Oval from using the name BlueCruise for its forthcoming hands-free highway driving feature, as GM believes that this term infringes on its trademark of the rival automaker’s own hands-free driving technology, SuperCruise, which was first announced back in 2012.