Is Ford Testing 2023 F250 Trucks With Hands-Free Driving?
Ford rolled out its BlueCruiser driver-assist software on the 2021 Mustang Mach E and F 150 pickup. BlueCruise enables you to drive hands-free on pre-mapped interstate highways. Now, the company may be testing out BlueCruise on the 2023 F 250 and F 350 Super Duty trucks.
The 2022 F 150 pickup truck offers BlueCruise hand-free driving
Most new vehicles offer some form of driver aid software, from adaptive cruise control to blindspot monitoring to pre-collision braking. Several automakers are going a step further with hands-free driving modes.
Hands-free driving software builds on adaptive cruise control with a stop-and-go function. It also incorporates lane-keep assist. In addition, many hands-free driving programs monitor the driver to make certain they are staying alert.
Ford calls its newest suite of advanced driver aids “BlueCruise.” The company offers BlueCruise on certain models of the 2021 Mustang Mache E and F 150 pickup truck, as well as the 2022 Lincoln Navigator.
You can choose to activate BlueCruise on over 130,000 miles of pre-mapped interstate highways. The system keeps your car centered in your lane–without your hands on the wheel. BlueCruise can even work with worn-down lane markings. What’s more, BlueCruise reads upcoming signs and adjusts your speed accordingly.
Ford is testing F250 and F350 trucks with autonomous vehicle equipment
After the Ford Motor Company adapted BlueCruise to the Lincoln Navigator, customers began to wonder what product line would gain hands-free capabilities next. Then, in June 2021, the Ford Authority website spotted the Ford Motor Company testing F 250 and F 350 trucks with autonomous driving equipment.
The first test truck was an F 250 Platinum. This truck featured an array of cameras mounted on its front bumper, rear bumper, and tailgate. In addition, it had four radar sensors mounted to the corners of its front bumper and near each tail light.
The second test trucks was an F 350 Platinum. This truck also had a series of cameras. This included a camera behind its windshield and an array of six cameras and sensors on its front bumper. The F 350 also had four radar sensors, two front and two rear.
One interesting thing about the F 350 Platinum is its roof rack. On top of the heavy-duty truck Ford had mounted another array of sensors. But these appeared to be radar or even lidar units. No current BlueCruise-equipped Ford has such a rooftop array. Perhaps the F 350 had a lidar array to help calibrate its traditional radar and its cameras.
Ford’s redesigned 2023 F 250 Super Duty is coming
Ford redesigns its Super Duty trucks every five to six years. The company has been selling this generation of the F 250 since 2017, so its 2023 redesign is coming right on schedule.
Ford fans are speculating as to what technology from the current F 150 will make it into this next-generation of the F 250 and F 350. Will the new Super Duty Ford trucks have a hybrid drivetrain? Only time will tell.
We do know that 2023 F 250 XL test vehicles retain the truck’s analog gauges and column-mounted shifter. We do not know for sure whether Ford will debut a BlueCruise enabled F 250 for 2023. But we know for certain that Ford is testing its new technology on heavy-dutry trucks.