This year you can already buy an independently driving car in the Netherlands (with your hands loose!)

For the first time, you no longer have to hold the steering wheel in the car

If you've driven a modern car recently, you've undoubtedly noticed that the car often thinks it knows best. The thing beeps regularly or makes a correction to keep you within the lines. Often just as annoying as a passenger pulling on your steering wheel. It would be better if you could let go of the wheel - and that will soon be possible with the first autonomous car in the Netherlands.

Ford is the first automaker to score European approval for 'Level 2+' autonomous driving. The Mustang Mach E is therefore allowed to drive on the highway all by itself at speeds of up to 130 km/h. This has already been activated for German and English customers and according to AD , the system is expected to come to the rest of Europe - and therefore to the Netherlands - at the end of this year (which is very soon).

Until now you always had to hold the steering wheel

Now, a lot of cars can theoretically drive independently, but legislation makes it mandatory to always keep your hands on the wheel. If you let your hands wave, the cars will start beeping and shortly afterwards the autonomous systems will stop. In some cases, the car even stops itself because it is afraid that something is wrong with the driver.

Ford calls the system BlueCruise. Completely on its own, this system allows Fords to stay within the lines on the highway and overtake other cars. As you are used to from cars with adaptive cruise control, Fords with BlueCruise also accelerate and brake independently. It is not allowed to hold your phone while driving hands-free; you have to keep paying attention.

The first autonomously driving car is allowed on most Dutch highways

The system only works on highways that have been approved by Ford, so-called Blue Zones. According to the AD, this amounts to 95 percent of the highways in the Netherlands. When the time comes, Ford will probably post a map with all the roads. In tunnels or under bad weather conditions, the system switches itself off. So you have to drive yourself in the snow. BlueCruise also does not take exits.

The Ford Mustang Mach-E is the first car that is allowed to drive independently in the Netherlands. BlueCruise will become an option that must be paid for monthly. The first three months will be free, Ford told TopGear Netherlands. The new BMW 5-series that will soon appear in the showrooms is also allowed. We won't be surprised if Tesla will soon release an update that will allow hands off the steering wheel.