Ford makes it easier to opt in or out of hands-free driving


Ford announced today that it will offer hardware for its hands-free highway-driving system, BlueCruise, as standard on Ford and Lincoln models for the 2024 model year. If you want the function enabled by that hardware, you’ll have to pay extra—but now you have more flexibility when deciding.

Owners of FoMoCo vehicles spec’d with BlueCruise may activate the system at any point—at purchase, annually or monthly—as well as have the opportunity to experience it through a complimentary three-month trial if they choose not to activate at purchase. Ford is projected to install BlueCruise hardware on 500,000 vehicles for the 2024 model year in North America alone, including both Ford and Lincoln models. Currently, Ford has 225,000 Ford BlueCruise–equipped vehicles (including both gas and electric F-150s, Expeditions, and Mach-Es) on the road globally.

BlueCruise map network

“BlueCruise is an experience-it-to-believe-it technology, and people are amazed at how BlueCruise can help make driving less stressful and more enjoyable—especially in traffic or on long drives,” said Ashley Lambrix, head of commercial acceleration for Ford’s electric-vehicle business, Model e. “We believe in this technology and how it can help transform the highway driving experience and want to give more customers the opportunity to try it and provide flexibility for them to activate it when they want to use it.”

Ford BlueCruise graphic

There is no minimum commitment to BlueCruise. For example, a customer could activate the service for one month for a road trip and not activate it again for another year. Previously, customers would have to decide when ordering the vehicle if they wanted BlueCruise so the hardware could be installed. Now, Ford is removing this requirement from customers, not forcing them to decide upfront if they want access to the technology.

Most manufacturers that offer hand-free driving price the product in different ways. BlueCruise activation for Ford customers costs $2100 for three years at time of order or vehicle purchase. If a customer chooses not to activate upfront, after their complimentary trial they can choose an annual plan for $800 or a monthly plan for $75/month. If a customer chooses to forego activating BlueCruise, they can continue to experience Adaptive Cruise Control, which lets the driver set a cruising speed and distance from the vehicle ahead, including in stop-and-go traffic.

Ford BlueCruise interior action

Depending on the vehicle trim, Lincoln Navigator and Nautilus customers will receive either four years of BlueCruise access included at purchase or a 90-day complimentary trial with the option to choose an annual plan for $800 or a monthly plan for $75 and activate it at any point during the vehicle ownership. Corsair trims built with the BlueCruise hardware will receive four years of access included at purchase.

GM prices its equivalent hands-free driving suite, called Super Cruise, depending on the model. In the new Cadillac Lyriq, for instance, the basic model with Luxury 1 equipment costs $63,315; to get Super Cruise, you need the Luxury 2 package, which adds $4300. But besides Super Cruise, Luxury 2 gets you a 19-speaker AKG audio system, and a Comfort package, which adds massaging seats, among other things. Generally speaking, Super Cruise itself adds $2500 to the price of GM vehicles, including the 36-month subscription. Once that expires, it’s $25 a month, according to

2023 Cadillac Lyriq 450E rear three-quarter action
2023 Cadillac Lyriq 450E r GM/Cadillac

Earlier this year, Ford rolled out BlueCruise 1.2 and will soon be rolling out BlueCruise 1.3. The versions arrive first on 2021–23 Mustang Mach-E vehicles equipped with BlueCruise hardware. The latest generation of BlueCruise software has improved performance when driving around curves and navigating narrow lanes. For example, based on Ford’s internal testing, BlueCruise 1.3 stayed engaged in hands-free mode for an average of five times longer compared to BlueCruise 1.0, the first version of BlueCruise.




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    No thanks. Subscription services like this are an easy choice to avoid especially something like this.

    I totally disagree with subscription pricing for something that is already installed on the vehicle. Sounds like a big money grab.

    But this works better. For those who don’t want it, they don’t have to pay anything. For those that will use it all the time, they can pay the one-time cost. For those who wouldn’t use it as much or aren’t sure, they can pay as they go. I could see using it on long road trips. But if those trips are few and far enough in between, I could save money just buying a month here and there, rather than paying the full up-front cost.

    Given this is a software and hardware solution, it’s an important difference than BMW installing hardware that needs no software and only enabling it through a subscription. Heated seats shouldn’t need a subscription.

    Think of this as like the video card in your computer. You paid for the hardware and it has the capability of letting you play games that have high-resolution graphics. But you can’t play those games until you buy the software. If you never buy a game, you aren’t out any money.

    The games are developed by different companies than who made the video card and they’re a one-time purchase, so the analogy doesn’t hold. This is additional (gravy) money from the company that sold you a car, not a supplementary purchase from a third party.

    I guarantee the cost of the hardware is buried in the purchase price of the vehicle. The ones who fall for this ploy will be paying double for “BlueCruise”. This is just Ford’s attempt to to establish an ongoing drain of their customers’ bank accounts. They’re rolling out their subscription concept with “BlueCruise” today. What features that are the usual “purchase once” now, will they change to subscription only in the future?

    Exactly. You’re buying the hardware outright. The only thing you’re getting for your subscription money is ongoing updates, which from Ford’s perspective, is gravy. It isn’t quite as egregious as BMW having a subscription for their heated seats, but it’s more similar than different.

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