Smart Transport

First legal hands-off motorway driving aid heading for UK roads

The Government has approved the use of Ford's hands-off driver assistance system so it can now be used on motorways.

BlueCruise makes its debut on the Mustang Mach-E and is the first to be approved for use on UK roads by the Department for Transport.

It enables hands-free assisted driving at speeds of up to 80mph.

The system monitors road markings, speed signs and evolving traffic conditions to control steering, acceleration, braking and lane positioning, as well as to maintain safe and consistent distances to vehicles ahead – right down to a complete halt in traffic jams.

BlueCruise is classified as a Level 2 autonomous system and can be activated on 2,300 miles of pre-mapped motorways in England, Scotland and Wales, designated as Blue Zones. Drivers must remain attentive at all times and are monitored by an infrared camera continually.

If the system detects driver inattention, warning messages are first displayed in the instrument cluster, followed by audible alerts, brake activations, and finally slowing of the vehicle while maintaining steering control. Similar actions are performed if the driver fails to place their hands back on the steering wheel when prompted when leaving a Blue Zone. 

Owners of 2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E vehicles in Great Britain are the first to be able to activate BlueCruise via subscription. The first 90 days are included with the vehicle purchase and, thereafter, a £17.99 monthly fee applies.

Ford engineers undertook 100,000 miles of testing on European roads to validate latest-generation advanced driver assistance systems including BlueCruise and its supporting features, in addition to over 600,000 miles covered in the US and Canada before the system was introduced to those markets last year. Validation drives in Great Britain helped prove out the ability to handle circumstances drivers encounter every day, such as worn-out lane markings, poor weather and roadworks.

“There’s a good reason why Ford BlueCruise is the first hands-free driving system to be cleared for use in a European country: We’ve proven beyond doubt that it can support the driver while also ensuring that they keep their eyes on the road for their safety and that of their passengers while the system is active. That means BlueCruise can make other road users’ journeys more comfortable too,” said Torsten Wey, manager, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, Ford Europe.

As of January 2023, car manufacturers are able to seek type approval to launch Level 3 technologies with expanded self-driving capabilities at speed of up to 80mph. The rules previously capped the use of such systems to 37mph, but were not adopted by the UK Government. Ministers gave the green-light to allow self-driving cars last August. 

Smart Transport National Conference 2023

The UK’s largest two-day conference for senior private and public sector transport leaders and policymakers to work together to transform the UK’s transport network and achieve net zero will take place on 21 & 22 November 2023, The Eastside Rooms, Birmingham.

The high-level conference will bring together senior transport leaders who help shape transport policy and deliver its infrastructure.

It aims to promote best in class initiatives from the private and public sector and bring people together through networking, knowledge transfer and discussion and is seen as UK's largest, trusted and most credible transport conference to facilitate public and private sector collaboration.

The agenda will deliver a speaker faculty of 80+ expert speakers, including senior transport politicians, from the UK and beyond. And we expect an audience of 300+ delegates to attend. 

Speakers come from authorities and organisations such as: The Department for Transport, England’s Economic Heartland, Birmingham City Council, Transport for West Midlands, Midlands Connect, TIER Mobility, CoMoUK, Lambeth Council, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Enterprise Holdings, FedEx, Worldline and Cornwall Council.

Find out more and book tickets

November 2022 conference video highlights

Book your one or two-day ticket now!

Comment as guest

Login  /  Register


No comments have been made yet.

Office Address
  • Smart Transport
    Media House
    Lynch Wood
    PE2 6EA
Join the community
  • Register to receive our digital content / products and service / information about our events.
  • Register now.
  • Conference


Welcome to Smart Transport

Welcome to the Smart Transport website, keeping you up-to-date with the latest news, insight and reports from policymakers and thought leaders.

The Smart Transport brand connects policy to solutions by bringing national government and local authority policymakers together with private sector organisations.

Contact Ernest Olaseinde for more information.

© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd
Media House, Lynch Wood, Peterborough, PE2 6EA - Registered number 01176085 IPSO regulated logo


Smart Transport members

Smart Transport board members


Please note:
By submitting any material to us you are confirming that the material is your own original work or that you have permission from the copyright owner to use the material and to authorise Bauer Consumer Media to use it as described in this paragraph. You also promise that you have permission from anyone featured or
referred to in the submitted material to it being used by Bauer Consumer Media. If Bauer Consumer Media receives a claim from a copyright owner or a person
featured in any material you have sent us, we will inform that person that you have granted us permission to use the relevant material and you will be responsible for paying any amounts due to the copyright owner or featured person and/or for reimbursing Bauer Consumer Media for any losses it has suffered as a result.