ILC ARTICLE

Ford brings hands-free driving to UK


Hands-free driving is now legal on UK motorways after Ford received regulatory approval from the Department for Transport to launch its ‘BlueCruise’ assisted driving system.

This is the first approval in Europe for a ‘hands-off, eyes-on’ system and means that drivers of an enabled Mustang Mach-E can use the Level 2 technology on more than 2,300 miles of the UK’s road network.

BlueCruise, which has clocked up more than 64 million miles in North America, monitors road markings, speed signs and traffic conditions to control steering, acceleration, braking and lane positioning. Further, infrared camera technology monitors the driver’s eyes to ensure they are still focused on the road.

Thatcham Research vehicle technology specialist Tom Leggett said, “For the first time ever drivers will be permitted to take their hands off the wheel. However, their eyes must remain on the road ahead. Crucially, the driver is not permitted to use their mobile, fall asleep or conduct any activity that takes attention away from the road.”

He added, “Although the vehicle can help control speed and position in lane, the driver is still wholly responsible for safety.”

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