The battle for supremacy in the auto industry is extending beyond the car itself. Manufacturers now compete with add-ons that extend the car’s usefulness. One such add-on is driver assistance systems, and Consumer Reports have rated Ford’s offering, Blue Cruise as the best. It was at the expense of GM’s Super Cruise, which previously occupied the coveted spot.
Blue Cruise is an active driving assistance, ADA. It means the car uses adaptive cruise control, ACC, to control speed and lane centering assistance, LCA, to control steering without the driver’s intervention.
ACC can also brake and accelerate the car to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles on the road, while LCA can keep the car at or close to the center of the road.
However, according to Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, Blue Cruise and the rest don’t make a car self-driving, at least not yet. The package is best viewed as making input into the driving experience.
Consumer Report tested 12 ADA systems, with Blue Cruise snatching the top position from GM’s Super Cruise. Mercedes-Benz’s Driver Assistance was in third place.
Tesla, often in the news for its Autopilot and Full-Self Driving package, was pushed down the list from second place in 2020 to seventh place. The publication reported Tesla hasn’t made much improvement to Autopilot over time. It scored highly in “capabilities and performance,” but scored poorly in the other categories, achieving just a 3 out of 10 for “keeping driver engaged” and “clear when safe to use.”
Each system was tested and rated for steering, speed control, safety, driver monitoring, etc. Here are the full scores and rankings from Consumer Reports.