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A blue 2025 Ford Explorer is shown parked off-road after leaving a dealer that has a used Ford Explorer for sale.

Smart Driving: A Dive into the Ford Explorer’s Technology

In today’s fast-paced digital world, it’s hard to find an area of our lives that doesn’t incorporate technology. This has never been more true for the automotive world than with the Ford Explorer. The redesigned 2025 Ford Explorer is the most technologically advanced version yet, offering Ford’s dynamic BlueCruise hands-free driving technology as well as debuting the Ford Digital Experience. Of course, this is in addition to delivering the same dependable performance, comfortable interior, and convenience that the brand is known for, whether you’re purchasing a used Ford Explorer or holding out for the newest one on the lot. Continue reading for a deeper look at the technology waiting for you when you slide into the driver’s seat of the Ford Explorer, including some of what you can expect from new and used versions of this popular three-row SUV.

Hands-Free Driving

While other Ford options have offered BlueCruise technology for a few years now, the 2025 model year will be the first time you can find it on the Explorer. It’s offered on three of the four trim levels, so if you choose the Platinum, ST, or ST-Line, you can opt for this dynamic driving feature that aims to ensure you not only get to your destination safely but that you’re refreshed and ready to go when you arrive. While you might have heard about hands-free driving over the years, you might still wonder just exactly how it works.

First, it’s important to know that hands-free driving isn’t available on every road you travel. However, Ford’s system is making great headway toward that goal. For now, you can access the system on 130,000 miles of divided highways across North America. These areas are known as Hands-Free Blue Zones. Ford claims that 97% of controlled access highways are Hands-Free Blue Zones, which makes this technology available for most long-distance drives.

When your vehicle enters an area that is compatible with hands-free driving, you will see a prompt that lets you know you can access the system. From there, all you need to do is activate it using the Adaptive Cruise Control button on your steering wheel. Once activated, the system will control your speed, ensure you’re safely centered in your lane, and even switch lanes thanks to Lane Change Assist. The system can sense when cars on either side of you are too close and give you extra room using In-Lane Repositioning. This gives you the chance to sit back and relax while the system helps you get to your destination. You will still need to maintain focus, as BlueCruise uses a driver-facing camera to assess your focus and ensure you’re ready to regain control at any time.

Ford’s BlueCruise continues to improve as the system becomes available in more of the brand’s lineup, but you’ll find that it’s already at the top of the list when it comes to hands-free driving. In fact, Consumer Reports has twice named it the top-ranked hands-free driving system when testing it and 16 other systems. The latest BlueCruise 1.3 update added improved performance in narrow lanes and curves, requiring less driver intervention on more challenging roads.

While the 2025 Explorer is the first model year to offer BlueCruise, the Explorer has been available with Adaptive Cruise Control and a battery of driver-assist technologies for many years now. The Ford Co-Pilot360 suite was added for the 2019 model year. This brings with it Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, Auto High Beam Headlights, a Lane-Keeping System, and more. The combination of Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go and Lane Centering performs most of the same functions as BlueCruise, keeping you centered in your lane and adjusting your speed to match traffic. While you will have to keep your hands on the wheel, even an older used Explorer without BlueCruise brings plenty of convenience to your drive.

The blue-lit interior of a 2025 Ford Explorer Platinum is shown from above the center console.

Introducing the Ford Digital Experience

While the 2025 Ford Explorer wasn’t the first Ford to gain access to BlueCruise, it is the first to debut the Ford Digital Experience. This system takes everything you love about connectivity and easy access to your favorite apps to the next level, giving you a customized experience that can’t be beat. For instance, you’ll love the crisp, clear images found on the standard 13.2-inch touchscreen. You’ll also love the convenience the system offers as it downloads apps directly from Google Play to your vehicle. This access means you can easily take the last Zoom meeting of the day while waiting to pick up the kids or entertain your youngest child with YouTube videos or a game while the two of you wait for the oldest one to finish their extracurricular activities.

The experience doesn’t stop there, however. You’ll also enjoy enhanced customization with the ability to set your driver’s seat and steering wheel position, as well as your exterior mirror preferences. Also, you can easily link your Google account to gain access to saved maps, searches, and more. This makes getting to your destination even easier. Not only will you have access to maps that help you get where you’re going, but you’ll also enjoy available 5G Wi-Fi connectivity.

The available Voice Assistance system lets you quickly get help when needed or simply call a friend. All you need to do is say, “Hey, Google” or “Alexa,” depending on how you have it set up. Even better, that same system lets you control things outside of the vehicle. For example, maybe you’re arriving home later than you thought, and you want to turn the house lights on before entering. Or, maybe you forgot to turn down the thermostat when you left. With compatible smart home devices, you’ll be able to do both and more.

Older Explorer models are just as tech-rich, with the debut of the sixth-generation model in 2020 introducing a massive 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system. These models run the slightly older but still capable SYNC 3 infotainment system. This system includes plenty of options, such as built-in navigation and a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot, ensuring that you have all the connectivity that you need to enjoy the journey. Of course, the Ford Explorer also gives you access to connect compatible phones via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, two must-have features that were first added all the way back in the 2017 model year. In addition, SiriusXM satellite radio lets you enjoy ad-free entertainment even when you leave your phone behind. Even if you are shopping used, the Explorer has something for you.

A blue 2025 Ford Explorer ST is shown from the rear at an angle.

Check Out the Technology-Driven Ford Explorer Today

If you love technology as much as you love knowing you’re driving a safe and reliable vehicle that gives you all the power and performance you need, you’ll love the Ford Explorer. With its focus on delivering a seamless experience across your digital devices and ensuring you gain complete customization of the things that matter most—not to mention the chance to enjoy hands-free driving across the United States and Canada in the 2025 model—it’s hard not to consider the Explorer for your next vehicle. While the latest version is the most tech-focused yet, even used models have plenty of features to elevate your drive.