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Assessment: Ford’s BlueCruise 1.2 Enhances Features and Smooths Performance

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BlueCruise 1.2 Review

Evaluation: The user requested a detailed and formal paraphrase of a text reviewing Ford’s BlueCruise 1.2 system in the context of the automotive market, which is one of their areas of expertise.

In the year 2021, Ford’s BlueCruise, initially known as ActiveGlide in Lincolns, secured its position as the second-best Level 2 hands-free driver-assist system, trailing behind GM’s Super Cruise. Fast forward to 2023, an upgrade to version 1.2 has been introduced. When I had the opportunity to test the new Lincoln Corsair equipped with BlueCruise 1.2, I harbored doubts due to the absence of hardware modifications. It appeared improbable that Ford could address the system’s shortcomings through mere software updates.

However, I was proven wrong. While BlueCruise 1.2 still occupies the second spot behind Super Cruise, Ford has significantly narrowed the gap and introduced a noteworthy feature that outshines GM’s system in one aspect.

Overview of the Lincoln Corsair

Let’s embark on a brief journey, and I will elaborate further.

Enhancements in Ford BlueCruise 1.2

The initial iteration of BlueCruise exhibited a somewhat erratic behavior, struggling to maintain a steady course within its lane. The steering wheel constantly made corrections, even on straight roads. However, with the latest software update, these issues have been entirely resolved.

During a trip to our family cottage, I was alerted that ActiveGlide, the former name for the system (now labeled BlueCruise in Fords), was available as I merged onto highway 694 heading north. Activating the system was as simple as pressing a button, and it assumed control. The display showed a vivid blue graphic of a Lincoln driving down a blue road, with a blue steering wheel icon signifying hands-free driving. The new BlueCruise 1.2 interface bears a resemblance to Mario Kart’s Rainbow Highway in blue, offering a more visually appealing and informative representation of the vehicle’s status. Moreover, it is noticeably easier to confirm that the system is engaged compared to Super Cruise’s interface.

During the journey, the Corsair maintained a remarkably steady course. Even as we approached a long left-hand curve, I expected the system to relinquish control and prompt me to resume steering, as was the case with the previous version (1.0). However, to my surprise, it flawlessly navigated the curve, maintaining control without requiring my intervention.

As the road continued, the Corsair no longer exhibited the previous lane-hopping behavior. It remained almost perfectly centered within its lane, necessitating no takeover of steering for over an hour.

Remaining Limitations of BlueCruise 1.2

Despite these improvements, BlueCruise 1.2 still falls short in certain aspects. In heavy traffic situations, it doesn’t anticipate congestion as promptly as Super Cruise, and its application of brakes and throttle in stop-and-go traffic remains less polished than GM’s system, potentially causing motion sickness during prolonged use.

Furthermore, the system’s reliance on radar map data instead of lidar map data hinders its performance. This limitation becomes evident when the vehicle is surrounded by other cars, as the system struggles to determine the specific lane it occupies. While less detailed map data doesn’t pose a significant issue, the system’s lack of precise lane awareness remains a concern.

Lane Changes with BlueCruise 1.2

BlueCruise 1.2 now enables lane changes, but it requires driver engagement. Unlike Super Cruise, which autonomously assesses and executes lane changes, BlueCruise prompts the driver to initiate the process. While this process generally functions well, occasional inconsistencies were observed, with the system not consistently prompting lane changes when approaching slower traffic.

Safety Measures in BlueCruise 1.2

Notably, BlueCruise 1.2 incorporates a safety feature that is absent in Super Cruise. When passing other vehicles, the system subtly shifts the vehicle to the left, hugging the shoulder. This adjustment enhances safety by creating more space between the user’s vehicle and the one being overtaken. Super Cruise lacks this feature, potentially leading to discomfort in close encounters with larger vehicles.

Limitations in Recognizing Construction Zones

Both BlueCruise and Super Cruise rely on map data and are not intended for use in construction zones. However, Super Cruise excels in recognizing these zones, issuing warnings, and disengaging when necessary. In contrast, BlueCruise did not consistently identify construction zones during testing, necessitating the driver’s intervention to prevent potential accidents.

Challenges in Low-Light Conditions

While BlueCruise functions adequately in daylight and darkness, it struggles during dusk. In situations where the infrared sensors cannot detect the driver’s retinas due to the sun’s angle, the system demands the driver’s attention, even if they are attentive. In some cases, this prompts brake checks, leading the driver to take control until the system can effectively detect their eyes once again.

Towing and Tunnel Navigation

Ford and Lincoln owners should be aware that hands-on steering is required while towing and when driving through tunnels with BlueCruise. In contrast, Super Cruise users can engage in hands-free driving during these scenarios.

Conclusion: BlueCruise 1.2 Shows Improvement but Lags Behind

While BlueCruise 1.2 represents a substantial improvement over its predecessor, it still falls short of surpassing Super Cruise. However, this may not hold true for long, as several automakers are actively developing Level 2 and even Level 3 systems that could potentially outperform both of these systems in the near future.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about BlueCruise 1.2 Review

Q: What is the primary improvement in Ford’s BlueCruise 1.2?

A: The primary improvement in Ford’s BlueCruise 1.2 is its enhanced lane-keeping capability, which significantly reduces lane-hopping and provides a smoother driving experience.

Q: How does BlueCruise 1.2 compare to GM’s Super Cruise?

A: BlueCruise 1.2, while improved, still trails behind GM’s Super Cruise in certain aspects, particularly in its response to traffic, smoothness in stop-and-go situations, and autonomous lane changes.

Q: Does BlueCruise 1.2 offer any unique features?

A: Yes, BlueCruise 1.2 introduces a safety feature not found in Super Cruise. It subtly shifts the vehicle to the left when passing other vehicles, enhancing safety by creating more space between vehicles.

Q: Does BlueCruise 1.2 recognize construction zones?

A: BlueCruise 1.2’s performance in construction zones is limited. It does not consistently recognize them, requiring driver intervention to ensure safety in these situations.

Q: Can BlueCruise 1.2 handle low-light conditions?

A: BlueCruise 1.2 functions well in daylight and darkness but struggles during dusk when the sun’s angle affects the infrared sensors’ ability to detect the driver’s eyes.

Q: Is hands-free towing and tunnel navigation possible with BlueCruise 1.2?

A: No, hands-on steering is required for towing and tunnel navigation with BlueCruise 1.2. In contrast, Super Cruise allows hands-free driving in these scenarios.

Q: What can we expect from future updates to BlueCruise?

A: Future updates, such as BlueCruise 1.3, aim to further enhance the system’s performance, including tighter curve handling and more precise positioning.

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