Ford to install hands-off driving hardware in more vehicles, sell subscriptions

Ford shared on Monday that it’s heading deeper into the software game by making its hands-free driving hardware — BlueCruise — standard in many of its future vehicles. In other words, the Detroit automaker’s Tesla-ification continues. 

Excluding the Mustang Mach-E, Ford had previously only given folks the option to buy the hands-off driving feature ahead of time, with the purchase of a new vehicle

.

Moving forward, Ford says it will build the requisite hands-free tech into “500,000 vehicles for the 2024 model year in North America across Ford and Lincoln,” including the F-150 Lightning, F-150, Expedition, Lincoln Navigator and Nautilus. Ford first indicated it was headed in this direction back in May.

The upside is that car buyers won’t need to decide ahead of time if they want to try out BlueCruise. That could prove especially handy for used-car shoppers, who might want to shell out for features that previous owners weren’t interested in. The downside is this particular feature ain’t cheap.

If you pay for access upfront with a new vehicle, Ford says it’ll charge you “$2,100 for three years at time of order.” Otherwise, the company will offer free trials before charging $800 per year or $75 per month. The offering sounds a whole lot like Tesla’s

driver-assist subscriptions.

Still, while Ford is late to the game, its subscription is at least a bit cheaper.