Self-Driving Tech Picks Up Speed In The Pickup Truck Sector

Self-Driving Tech Picks Up Speed In The Pickup Truck Sector

Today’s and tomorrow’s pickup truck isn’t your father’s pickup truck. Not by a long shot. Today’s pickup might look similar to older models, and their utility remains the same, especially if you’re in the construction and/or farming trades. 

They still require four-wheel drive in most cases and rugged all-terrain tires. Some pickups will need brush guards and trailer hitches. Even more, they will be outfitted with spray-on bed liners and protective coverings just like the super tough bed cover engineered for the new Ford F-150 EV.

But the future of pickup trucks in the U.S. and around the globe isn’t all about clean, electric energy. It’s also about self-driving or autonomous tech. According to a new pickup truck report, you can actually order a self-driving Ford-150 and others makes like them today. 

Presently, there are several Ford F-150 models (traditional and EV) that come equipped with BlueCruise, which allows hands-free highway driving. General Motors trucks have been utilizing the Super Cruise hands-free operation for five years. Some top-tier GMC Sierras and Chevy Silverados offer Super Cruise as an expensive add-on.   

The point is that as a pickup truck driver, if you’re yearning for the freedom and autonomy that comes from not having to steer your vehicle manually, it is possible to find new 2022 models that can provide the software that allows for hands-free driving. That said, it comes with a price. 

Ford Motor Company Self-Driving Options

Perhaps the most famous name in U.S. auto manufacturing, the Ford Motor Company, is now offering both the Ford F-150 and its Mustang Mach-E with hands-free driving capabilities. Their software is referred to as BlueCruise. 

BlueCruise offers the driver the usual “adaptive cruise control” features such as lane centering and stop-and-go. Plus, BlueCruise can read road signs, and it can also adjust the vehicle’s speed by itself.    

More than 130,000 miles of pre-mapped highways in the U.S. are said to allow you to remove your hands from your pickup’s steering wheel while BlueCruise does the driving. Ford engineers are even said to have demonstrated the autonomous tech on highways with worn center lines. However, you still are required to remain in the driver’s seat, with your eyes peeled on the long road before you. After all, no hardware and/or software is infallible. 

Experts say that, in 2022, Ford is offering BlueCruise as an add-on for the F-150, King Ranch, Platinum, and Lariat models. The add-on is one component of the $1000 Co-Pilot 360 package. Pickup truck owners are also required to pony up $600 for a three-year subscription fee. It’s important to note, however, that BlueCruise comes standard on the new F-150 Limited. 

Currently, the F-150 Lariat has a starting price of $47,000. With the additional costs for add-ons, you can conceivably pull out of the dealer lot with your new F-150 with self-driving capability for just a tad under $50,000. 

General Motors Self-Driving Options

Said to have taken the lead in the self-driving game, General Motors has been offering self-driving options since 2017. And the software is said to be improving all the time.  

The GM self-driving system is programmed to allow for hands-free driving on many pre-mapped highway systems. Says Forbes, the new generation of the auto manufacturer’s GM Super Cruise, appears to be more advanced than Ford’s Blue Cruise in several aspects.  

For instance, the GM hand-free system utilizes map data to look at least two miles ahead, and it knows enough to slow the truck down on sharp turns. Also, the Super Cruise can pass slower cars and change lanes when necessary. 

The hands-free software even works efficiently when towing. However, its add-on price is said to be higher than that of Ford’s BlueCruise. 

Top-Of-The-Line 2022 Chevy Silverado And 2022 Gmc Sierra Have Super Cruise.

It should be noted that GM only offers Super Cruise on its top-trim model pickup trucks. The self-driving software is said to be available on the Chevy Silverado 1500 LTD High Country. This truck starts at around $55,000. The software is also offered on the GMC Sierra Denali, which starts at around $57,000.  

Also, prior to investing in Super Cruise, your pickup’s engine will need to be modified. You can go with the 6.2-liter gasoline V8 engine, which costs around $2600. Or you can choose the Duramax 16 diesel for about half the cost. But once your choice is made, you can add on the Super Cruise, which means your total cost for the truck will be around $60,000.