THE first car that legally allows UK drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel has been approved by the Government.
The 2023 model of Ford’s electric Mustang Mach-E SUV will come with a “hands-off, eyes-on” technology called BlueCruise.
BlueCruise can control how the car steers, keep it centred in its lane, make the vehicle go faster and even bring it to a complete stop when there is traffic ahead. It has been approved for use on certain UK motorways, but experts are keen to point out that the new Ford model is not self-driving.
Tom Leggett, from vehicle research company Thatcham Research, says the system “is the next development in assisted driving technology” but “the driver is still wholly responsible for safety”. He points out that a camera will make sure drivers are keeping their eyes on the road and that drivers aren’t allowed to use their mobile phones, fall asleep or do anything that “takes attention away from the road”.
Lisa Brankin, from Ford, told the BBC more about the technology’s safety features: “If your eyes are closed, the car will prompt you to put hands onto the steering wheel and take control… It will keep prompting the driver and, if they don’t respond, the car will steadily slow down to a stop.”
But, if you want to see BlueCruise in action, you’ll need a lot of cash. The Mustang Mach-E SUV costs from £50,830 and BlueCruise costs £17.99 a month after an initial 90 days free.
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