One of the most popular automotive technology features today is semi-autonomous driving systems. All car manufacturers are racing to develop and integrate them into their new vehicles. The Ford BlueCruise has received high praise from many critics and consumers in the automotive industry. So one may naturally wonder why it’s not included in the new 2023 Ford Super Duty.
What is the Ford BlueCruise?
Ford BlueCruise is a semi-autonomous driving system that allows drivers to enjoy hands-free driving on certain areas of North American roadways. By equipping a fleet of vehicles with a sophisticated vehicle telematics system, Ford has mapped road conditions on more than 400,000 highway miles. Drivers using BlueCruise will see these areas called Blue Hands-Free Zones and will be able to safely remove their hands from the wheel when BlueCruise is activated.
BlueCruise uses mapped data and existing adaptive cruise control, lane centering, sign recognition and other advanced safety systems to operate your vehicle without the need to drive in hands-free blue zones. The system includes an internal camera that monitors whether you’re paying attention. As the system is still new, it is far from perfect and sudden changes in road conditions may require you to take back control of the steering wheel. If the internal monitoring system detects that you are not alert enough to do so, it will deactivate BlueCruise. So don’t sleep in the driver’s seat, yet.
Ford continues to map roads across the continent to expand the area where you can operate your Ford hands-free. They also continue to improve technology, allowing your vehicle to operate without your steering input with greater precision. So far, BlueCruise has received considerable praise and can be found as an available option on most new Ford models. But it’s not on the new 2023 Ford Super Duty. Why is that?
Why the 2023 Ford Super Duty doesn’t have BlueCruise
According to Ford Authority, the new 2023 Ford Super Duty won’t be hands-off for an understandable reason. While the 2023 model has seen an exterior and interior update, the review lacks BlueCruise due to the trailer. Ford executives have noted that the main reason many consumers buy the Super Duty is for towing capacity, and BlueCruise cannot function while towing a trailer.
Specifically, BlueCruise would create challenges for drivers towing a trailer through curves or on winding roads. Naturally, a driver would make a long arc for a turn. However, BlueCruise will likely try to keep the truck in the middle of the lane. However, if you did, the trailer would sway considerably.
Executives further noted that the company had spent considerable time and resources updating the Super Duty’s suspension architecture and powertrain options to optimize the vehicle for towing. That said, providing BlueCruise would make towing difficult and undermine Ford’s new towing improvements.
What technology and other features does the Ford Super Duty offer?
Prospective buyers shouldn’t be too disappointed by BlueCruise’s omission. According to Autoblog, the new truck offers plenty of tech features and plenty of power. It comes with your choice of a 6.8-liter V8 petrol engine, a 7.3-liter V8 with an upgraded air intake system, and a 6.7-liter turbodiesel version. Each comes paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission and either RWD or 4WD. And while power figures aren’t out yet, they’re likely to be pretty high.
There’s plenty of tech, too, including a new 8.0-inch touchscreen, a standard 12.0-inch on higher trims, and a 12-inch digital instrument cluster. Super Duty models come with Wi-Fi hotspots, a wireless charging pad and a head-up display. There’s also a feature called the Upfit Pro Integration System that allows drivers to program shortcuts into the controls for common functions they perform when loading, unloading, and hauling cargo.
Additionally, Ford has enhanced its navigation system to account for the unique navigation needs a Super Duty may have on any given business day. There’s also a new camera system that provides increased trailer visibility and other enhancements that give you more control and information about the load and the trailer.
Hopefully one day the company will be able to compensate for the lane centering issue and include BlueCruise. But until then, Super Duty drivers will still be able to partake in Ford’s huge suite of advanced driver safety technology, including adaptive cruise control.
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