Verge: $F Lightning - The Quiet Storm

I rented a new Ford Fusion back in 2020 to drive up I-95. The level 2 driver assistance then was outstanding. But it was not this good:…

On my first day driving the F-150 Lightning, I got to experience Ford’s hands-free driver assistance system, BlueCruise. This feature comes standard of the Platinum trim level and will cost extra to upgrade for Lariat trims. F-150 owners who opt for the $1,595 Ford Co-Pilot 360 Active 2.0 package can purchase BlueCruise for an additional $600.

I was excited to test out this feature because this was Ford’s long-awaited answer to General Motors’ Super Cruise, which is considered the gold standard for Level 2 advanced driver assist systems. (Tesla’s Autopilot does not allow for hands-free driving, though its Full Self-Driving beta system does.)

These systems work in concert with a number of distinct features, like adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, blindspot detection, pedestrian monitoring, and stop sign detection. On certain divided highways (Ford says it works on “over 100,000 miles”), F-150 Lightning drivers can take their hands off the steering wheel and feet off the pedals, while infrared sensors mounted in the dash monitor their eyes to ensure they stay focused on the road ahead.

As soon as you enter an approved area, a notification appears on the gauge cluster informing you that BlueCruise is available. I found the system very easy to engage and disengage, which wasn’t always the case with other Level 2 systems. After you get over the initial urge to slam on the brakes every time a car merges into your lane, you eventually get to sit back and enjoy the convenience of the system.

Here are the $F charts: