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Video: Consumer Reports Rates Ford BlueCruise and GM’s Super Cruise Above Tesla’s System

In a new video from Consumer Reports, the group shows visually why Ford’s BlueCruise and GM’s Super Cruise hands-free driver assist systems are the best in the business. Tesla fans won't be happy.

A new video released by Consumer Reports today follows up on a report issued about a month ago ranking the best available driver-assist systems available in America. In the video, Consumer Reports shows exactly why it feels that Ford’s BlueCruise and GM’s Super Cruise are the two best systems in America today. Mercedes-Benz system ranked third, but does not offer hands-free driving assistance.

Related Story: Entering 2023 Tesla Is Way Behind In Hands-Free Assisted Driving

The top-ranked systems offered a combination of usability and novel approaches to ensure a driver remains involved and alert. Both of the top-ranked systems can monitor a driver’s attentiveness and will only work while the driver maintains an acceptable level of involvement. These are driver-assist systems, not autonomous driving systems. Both GM and Ford’s systems can also take over and bring the vehicle to a stop, engage safety systems like hazard flashers, and call for help in the event a driver becomes unresponsive, such as in the case of a medical emergency or if an impaired driver loses consciousness.

Ford’s hands-free BlueCruise has a multi-level safety system to ensure safe driving. Here’s how Consumer Reports described how the Ford System operates: “Ford’s BlueCruise sets a high standard among ADA systems, aided by an infrared camera that monitors the driver’s eyes to determine whether they are looking at the road. If the driver glances away from the road for more than about 5 seconds—whether to look at their cell phone, fiddle with the infotainment screen, or because they fell asleep—the system will give the driver a visual warning and an audible chime. When operating on pre-mapped highways that allow for hands-free operation, BlueCruise prompts the driver in advance of risky scenarios, such as lane merges or curves, to place their hands back on the wheel. This feature encourages drivers to be ready to steer if needed, and doesn’t turn the LCA system off when they do.”

Among the dozen systems that Consumer Reports evaluated, Hyundai/Kia/Genesis scored lowest. This is primarily because the system does not effectively keep the vehicle centered in its lane. Rather, the vehicle can, at times, bounce back and forth between the lane markers. In our Torque news vehicle testing, this is a problem we have detected on many driver assist systems. Nearly all early systems had this behavior. As of late, it is has almost disappeared from the market. Some vehicles can even skootch over a bit if a large vehicle crowds you when on the highway.

Ease of use was a key parameter of Consumer Reports’ evaluations. Interestingly, the driver-assist system in the Hyundai/Kia/Genesis models were the top-rated systems by Consumer Reports in this regard, due in large part to its strong showing in the “controls” category. However, the negatives were enough to drop the brands’ systems to the last place among those evaluated.

Wondering how Tesla’s Autopilot ranked? About mid-pack. Autopilot isn’t that special anymore as driver-assist systems go, and Tesla includes it at no extra charge when one purchases a new Tesla. The hot setup from Tesla now is Full Self Driving. We are not really certain how to categorize FSD. Alex from E for Electric, a Tesla early adopter and multi-Tesla owner recently did a good video overviewing the FSD system and its current issues if you are interested in learning more about it. Unlike BlueCruise and Super Cruise, Tesla’s Full-Self Driving system is not a hands-free system. Which begs the question, why is called full self-driving if the driver has to, you know, drive it?

Image of BlueCruise in operation courtesy of Ford Media Support. For more information on the Consumer Reports rankings, subscribe. The video in the story offers more Consumer Reports links.

John Goreham is an experienced New England Motor Press Association member and expert vehicle tester. John completed an engineering program with a focus on electric vehicles, followed by two decades of work in high-tech, biopharma, and the automotive supply chain before becoming a news contributor. In addition to his ten years of work at Torque News, John has published thousands of articles and reviews at American news outlets. He is known for offering unfiltered opinions on vehicle topics. You can follow John on Twitter, and TikTok @ToknCars, and view his credentials at Linkedin