First Self-Driving Ford Superduty While Driver Lies in the Back Seat

Written by Jim Belt in Trucks 14 May 2024

A recent viral video showcases a Ford F-450 driver pulling a jaw-dropping stunt by lying across the rear seat of his truck while it hurtles down the highway at over 80 mph. The shocking footage, posted on Instagram by user @__c.crawford__, reveals the driver's seat completely vacant, with the caption "F450 driving itself" displayed on the screen.

Key takeaways:

  • A wild video captured an F-450 truck blazing down the highway at over 80 mph with no driver behind the wheel - just some bags tricking the lane assist.
  • Basic driver-assist tech enabled this reckless self-driving prank that more advanced systems would have shut down.
  • While pushing boundaries showcases a truck's capabilities, such stunts misusing driver aids raise safety concerns across automakers beyond just Tesla incidents.

The video, first reported by The Drive, exposes the truck's speedometer hitting more than 80 mph (129 km/h). To make matters worse, a pair of bags are strategically placed on the left spoke of the steering wheel, likely to deceive the lane-centering system into thinking a driver's hand is on the wheel. The cameraman, who films from the passenger seat, nervously comments, “This is probably the most nerve-racking thing I’ve ever done.”

Update: the video has been removed from Instagram. At least we still have the pictures.

While Ford offers a Level 2 driver assistance system known as BlueCruise, it requires an attentive driver to be at the wheel at all times and isn’t available on the F-450. Instead, this dangerous stunt likely relies on adaptive cruise control and lane-centering technology. These systems can keep a vehicle in its lane but are not designed to take over driving entirely.

Ironically, these low-tech driver assistance features make the truck easier to fool. BlueCruise-equipped vehicles are designed to slow down and stop if the system detects the driver isn't paying attention.

The video highlights a growing concern about the misuse of driver assistance systems. While Tesla drivers have been notorious for abusing their vehicles’ features, this incident suggests that the problem could spread across other brands, posing an industry-wide issue.

Now, we're not condoning that kind of reckless behavior on public roads or anything. That's just asking for trouble and puts innocent people at risk. But you have to appreciate the audacity and showmanship, even if it was pretty darn dangerous. It's the kind of stunt that really showcases the raw power and capabilities of a heavy-duty hauler like the F-450.