• 📊 Lightning Orders List: Add Yours Inside!
  • Welcome to F150Lightningforum.com everyone!

    If you're joining us from F150gen14.com, then you may already have an account here!

    If you were registered on F150gen14.com as of April 16, 2022 or earlier, then you can simply login here with the same username and password!

  • 📊 Lightning Owners Registry: Add Your Delivered Lightning!

How is BlueCruise for you?

beatle

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 1, 2021
Threads
23
Messages
885
Reaction score
956
Location
Springfield, VA
Vehicles
Model S, Ridgeline, Miata, motorcycle(s)
I took my first long-ish trip in the Lightning this weekend along I-66 and I-81. There are some hills and some gentle curves, but overall particularly challenging. I've taken my Model S on this route 4 or 5 times. I-81 is especially truck heavy and the lanes are well marked and maintained in most places and not narrow. I used BlueCruise as much as I could and noticed a few things, some good, some not so much:

Good stuff:
  • Disengagement is "soft" in the sense that you can easily take over at any time without causing the truck to snap out of autosteer and suddenly veer away from its intended path. Those who have driven a Tesla and have had to take over know what I mean. It's really one of the worst parts about the Tesla's autopilot so I'm glad Ford hasn't followed in their footsteps here.
  • Lane changes are manual. This is another shortcoming of the original Tesla system that the Lightning doesn't have. Though I have to initiate the lane changes myself, I can do them at my own speed. Autopilot will change lanes for you when you put your signal on, but Unless you give the Tesla system a lot of headway and there is very little traffic, it will take forever to make a change and in some cases never make the change. In the Lightning you just signal, make your change yourself, turn the signal off, then let the system resume (often quickly, but not always).
  • It doesn't freak out much at traffic cutting you off. Sometimes AP will overreact to a car merging in front of you and brake to quickly put some following distance between you and the car in front. The Lightning will still slow down to make space, but it feels more natural.
  • No sounds. Like others, I initially wished for more audible cues when when BC would engage/disengage, but now I have become more accustomed to the instrument cluster icons and graphic changes that I can generally see the status in my peripheral vision. Given the frequency that BC comes and goes, I think the sounds would be so annoying that you'd just get rid of the system altogether. That said, I think Ford will still probably bring in sounds for safety's sake when they update the system.
  • Hands free really does watch your eyes, and it works well even with sunglasses and at night. You only have a few seconds to look away from the road before it warns you. It even picks up at your distraction if you're staring at the instrument cluster behind the wheel. I am not a fan of nags, but I also didn't notice any false positives or negatives. The nag screen comes on in a reasonable amount of time and it goes away just as quickly once your eyes are back on the road.
  • No phantom braking. This isn't a problem on my original AP1 Model S, but I hear it's a problem for newer cars without radar so I figure I'd throw that fact out there.
Bad stuff:
  • The truck ping pongs between the lane markers a lot, even on easy stretches of road. This is unnerving at best and dangerous at worst. In some cases it would drift over the lane markers into the adjacent lane without advising you to take over. Of course you should always be monitoring for errant behavior or things the system can't pick up, but this requires you to micromanage the system with steering inputs or just accept that you're eventually going to get pulled over for letting the truck drive drunk.. This babysitting can be more stressful than just driving the truck yourself and turning off lane assist.
  • If you're in the right lane, it doesn't like when you have a lane merging in from the right, eliminating the right lane markers. Sometimes it will make it through this transition without prompting you to put your hands on the wheel, sometimes it doesn't. It generally does an okay job of tracking on the left lane markers and not attempting to split the difference between the left lane markers and the shoulder marker though.
  • Following distance can be too far, especially at low speeds. I get that you're supposed to always maintain a safe following distance, but even on the closest setting, the truck leaves such a huge gap in front of you that traffic will often try to go around you and cut you off. I know this experience will be even worse when commuting in DC traffic.
As it stands now, I doubt I would pay for BlueCruise when the 3 year service is up. I'd just go back to adaptive cruise and steer the old fashioned way. I think Ford may have been pressured to release the Lightning with BC before they knew it was really ready. Here's hoping the improvements they make come swiftly now that they have a lot more "test mules" on the road generating data.

 

RickLightning

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 17, 2022
Threads
18
Messages
1,234
Reaction score
1,444
Location
SE MI
Vehicles
Mach-E Premium 4X, F-150, Lightning reserved
Following distance can easily be changed via a button on your steering wheel.

Lane changes are coming in the future.
 

RickLightning

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 17, 2022
Threads
18
Messages
1,234
Reaction score
1,444
Location
SE MI
Vehicles
Mach-E Premium 4X, F-150, Lightning reserved
Yes I know, this is with the following distance at its closest setting.
Nothing stopping you from stepping on the gas to narrow the distance.

Keep in mind that that's not BlueCruise, that's Adaptive Cruise with Stop and Go.
 
OP
OP
beatle

beatle

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 1, 2021
Threads
23
Messages
885
Reaction score
956
Location
Springfield, VA
Vehicles
Model S, Ridgeline, Miata, motorcycle(s)
Yes, that's part of the problem. The system should not require constant input during its operation. Adaptive cruise is part of BC, you can't have BC without it. If I have to constantly adjust the steering and following distance, I might as well drive myself without any assistance.
 


Amps

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 21, 2022
Threads
1
Messages
624
Reaction score
652
Location
Mid-Atlantic
Vehicles
Lariat ER
I think one of these manufacturers' lane centering systems learn from the driver's correction inputs to stop ping-ponging. I hope this is something that can be updated in BC.
 

RickLightning

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 17, 2022
Threads
18
Messages
1,234
Reaction score
1,444
Location
SE MI
Vehicles
Mach-E Premium 4X, F-150, Lightning reserved
Yes, that's part of the problem. The system should not require constant input during its operation. Adaptive cruise is part of BC, you can't have BC without it. If I have to constantly adjust the steering and following distance, I might as well drive myself without any assistance.

The gap has to be set to a safe distance. I'm sure the 3 second rule applies. They can't let you set the distance closer just because you want to.
 

Oneand0

Well-known member
First Name
Mario
Joined
May 19, 2021
Threads
9
Messages
355
Reaction score
370
Location
South Lake Tahoe
Vehicles
Bronco Badlands & F-150 Lightning Lariat ER
Occupation
Digital Investigator
It’s sounding like I’m going to miss my auto pilot. I don’t think my Tesla ping pongs back and forth. Didn’t realize AP in Tesla does a lane change on its own if you signal 😂. I’ve always just signaled and did it myself. Thanks for sharing !
 
OP
OP
beatle

beatle

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 1, 2021
Threads
23
Messages
885
Reaction score
956
Location
Springfield, VA
Vehicles
Model S, Ridgeline, Miata, motorcycle(s)
The gap has to be set to a safe distance. I'm sure the 3 second rule applies. They can't let you set the distance closer just because you want to.
The closest setting is significantly further back than AP1. Ford certainly can set the following distance closer without it tailgating the leading vehicle. The fact that you're viewed as an obstacle to normal traffic by following too far back only leads to people cutting you off which is ultimately less safe.

It’s sounding like I’m going to miss my auto pilot. I don’t think my Tesla ping pongs back and forth. Didn’t realize AP in Tesla does a lane change on its own if you signal 😂. I’ve always just signaled and did it myself. Thanks for sharing !
That may not be the case! The basic AP functionality in the current Teslas doesn't allow you to change lanes unless you have FSD purchased. You've gotta turn the system off, change lanes, then manually turn it back on. However, Tesla recently started offering "enhanced autopilot" for the newer cars again (for $6k!) which restores some of the features that the AP1 cars had before FSD like lane changes and summon.
 


vandy1981

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 21, 2021
Threads
56
Messages
1,253
Reaction score
2,020
Location
Tennessee
Vehicles
2019 Jaguar I-Pace, 2019 Ram 1500
Occupation
Plumber
It’s sounding like I’m going to miss my auto pilot. I don’t think my Tesla ping pongs back and forth.
I personally don't notice ping ponging that much so maybe that's my default driving style.

Blue Cruise would be improved greatly with better indicators of when the system engages and disengages (like the steering wheel LEDs with GM SuperCruise) and a message that explains why the system can't be engaged (e.g. not mapped, road conditions, lightning conditions, etc.).
 

RickLightning

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 17, 2022
Threads
18
Messages
1,234
Reaction score
1,444
Location
SE MI
Vehicles
Mach-E Premium 4X, F-150, Lightning reserved
No idea what AP1 is, but keep in mind that the distance would be the same for every Ford, it's not going to be model specific.
 

hturnerfamily

Well-known member
First Name
William
Joined
Jan 8, 2022
Threads
25
Messages
862
Reaction score
868
Location
rural Georgia
Vehicles
PRO IcedBlue-MaxTow,TowTech,ProPower 8/23/2022
Occupation
Owner
also, even when you don't have BlueCruise 'on', the 'ASSIST' feature is going to continue 'steering' the car in the lane for you, until you take over the wheel. BlueCruise is simply the more 'hands off' version, monitoring your eyes, but otherwise everything else is the same.

This is why the BC function is confusing. My Kia Sorento PHEV has all the same 'ASSIST' driving features, with the same adaptive cruise control, it just doesn't have the pure 'hands off' driving, but you must touch/turn the wheel periodically. I love it and won't care too much about BC.
 

VTbuckeye

Well-known member
First Name
Joseph
Joined
Jan 15, 2022
Threads
2
Messages
671
Reaction score
651
Location
Vermont
Vehicles
19 Bolt, 16 XC90T8, 22 XC40 P8 Recharge, 17 Tacoma
also, even when you don't have BlueCruise 'on', the 'ASSIST' feature is going to continue 'steering' the car in the lane for you, until you take over the wheel. BlueCruise is simply the more 'hands off' version, monitoring your eyes, but otherwise everything else is the same.

This is why the BC function is confusing. My Kia Sorento PHEV has all the same 'ASSIST' driving features, with the same adaptive cruise control, it just doesn't have the pure 'hands off' driving, but you must touch/turn the wheel periodically. I love it and won't care too much about BC.
Our volvos seem to be like your kia. I don't need my hands in my lap. There is a wheel in front of them and I don't mind holding on even if it will do most of the work. I like to be able to safely grab something out of the backseat or reprimand thing 1 or thing 2 sitting behind me.
 

 
AOSK
Top