Ford Reveals Subscription Pricing for Semi-Autonomous BlueCruise

Ford Reveals Subscription Pricing for Semi-Autonomous BlueCruise

News has emerged that Ford Motor Company is planning to incorporate the necessary hardware for BlueCruise, a semi-autonomous driving system designed to compete with GM's SuperCruise and Tesla's Autopilot, into an extensive number of 2024-model-year vehicles. However, it appears that utilizing this feature may come at an additional cost.

This is due to an ecosystem in which the hardware in some future Ford vehicles may not be activated without an extra fee. This practice is currently seen in a few of Ford's offerings, such as the Mach-E Premium, which requires an upfront payment of CDN$2,500 to activate BlueCruise upon delivery. Those who did not select this pre-pay option receive a 90-day trial of the service, after which it deactivates.

South of the border, American buyers have the option to reactivate BlueCruise for US$75 per month or US$800 per year if they initially declined the pre-pay option, which costs US$2,100 for three years in the American market. Considering the price differences between the two countries, it is estimated that Ford might charge approximately CDN$100 a month or CDN$975 a year for BlueCruise in Canada. We have reached out to Ford Canada for confirmation and will update this post with any new information.

It is worth noting that BlueCruise's mapping coverage in Canada is currently limited, especially when compared to its coverage in the United States and GM's SuperCruise. BlueCruise-mapped roads, referred to as "Blue Zones" by Ford, are mainly concentrated in southern Ontario, with some extensions to the east and west. For example, the route from Halifax to Toronto or Ottawa is approximately 95% covered, but traveling west from these destinations presents challenges, as Ottawa to Edmonton is only 3% mapped.

This concept of subscription fees for specific features is not entirely new in the automotive industry. BMW raised eyebrows when it introduced the idea of a subscription fee for heated seats, and it is widely known that some Tesla models have features embedded in their construction that can only be accessed by making additional payments. It's worth considering whether similar possibilities could arise for Ford in the future.

Regardless of the potential challenges, it appears that car manufacturers are increasingly looking to capitalize on this new revenue stream of monthly recurring charges that grant owners access to hardware that is already installed in their vehicles.

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