Ford Approved for Hands-Off Driving on German Autobahn
German transport officials approve Ford’s Blue Cruise for certain roads.
Ford announced in late August that its Blue Cruise (SAE Level 2 driver-assistance) ADAS that allows for hands-free driving in certain situations was approved by the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) for use on certain of the country’s motorways designated “Blue Zones.” Although Ford’s press release confirming the approval did not directly indicate those roads include the country’s famous high-speed Autobahn, a European Ford executive said in a social media post that the Autobahn is included.
“We have big news in Germany today,” posted Martin Sander, GM of Ford Model e Europe and CEO, Ford Worke GmbH. “Ford Blue Cruise, our innovative advanced driver-assistance system that lets drivers take their hands off the steering wheel while still keeping an eye on the road, has been officially approved for use on the German Autobahn.” The approval, he said, is “an exciting step that now also adds another dimension of comfort when it comes to driving on the Autobahn.”
Blue Cruise joins other automakers’ ADAS that permit hands-off operation on German roads in some circumstances. Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen Group’s Audi, among others, offer similar capabilities. Ford stressed that since Blue Cruise’s introduction in 2021, vehicles equipped using the technology have covered more than 175 million kilometers (109 million miles) in the U.S. and Canada.
"With Blue Cruise, Ford is positioning itself as a leading provider of future-proof driver assistance technologies,” said Torsten Wey, Head of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems at Ford Europe. “Globally collected data from more than one million test kilometers formed the basis for successful approval in Germany. We are proud to have developed such a competitive system, which has received repeated awards – as we recently did in Germany.”
In its release confirming Germany’s approval of Blue Cruise, Ford did not provide detail on which roads are designated Blue Zones, or the total number of miles Blue Zones initially will comprise. In North America, the company has routinely added to the total miles of mapped roads on which Blue Cruise can operate. The company did say the first model to offer Blue Cruise capability in Germany is the Mustang Mach-E.
“We are very pleased to be able to offer this innovative technology to our customers in Germany, having already been the first manufacturer in Europe with a system of this kind in the U.K. in April," said Sander. “Ford Blue Cruise takes the driver to a whole new level of comfort: it can greatly simplify strenuous journeys on motorways by supporting the driver in an intelligent, tried-and-tested and, above all, safe way – for a much more relaxed journey to their destination.”