Deadly Crashes Linked to Ford’s BlueCruise Tech Under Probe

Deadly Crashes Linked to Ford's BlueCruise Tech Under Probe

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched an investigation into Ford Motor’s hands-free driving technology, BlueCruise, following two fatal crashes involving Mustang Mach-E SUVs. The incidents, which occurred when the vehicles struck parked cars, prompted the agency to take a closer look at the safety of the technology.

The NHTSA’s preliminary evaluation focuses on 130,000 2021-2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E vehicles to assess if they pose an unreasonable risk to safety. Ford has stated its cooperation with NHTSA to provide support during the investigation.

Additionally, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has initiated separate investigations into the two crashes involving Mach-E vehicles. One crash, on February 24, involved a Ford Mustang Mach-E equipped with BlueCruise colliding with a stationary Honda CR-V in San Antonio, Texas, resulting in the death of the Honda driver.

The second crash under NTSB investigation occurred on March 3 in Philadelphia, also involving a Ford Mach-E. The scrutiny from both NHTSA and NTSB underscores the gravity of the incidents and the need for thorough analysis.

BlueCruise is Ford’s advanced hands-free driving system designed for highways without intersections or traffic signals. Despite its capabilities, the system came under scrutiny after the NHTSA confirmed its engagement before the Philadelphia crash. The investigation includes vehicles equipped with Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0, offering various driver assistance features.

Notably, the NHTSA investigation will focus on evaluating BlueCruise’s performance during driving tasks and driver monitoring. This scrutiny aims to ensure the technology’s reliability and safety in real-world conditions.

In a parallel development, NHTSA recently initiated a probe into Tesla’s recall of over 2 million vehicles for new Autopilot software updates. The investigation seeks to determine if the updates effectively address driver attention concerns following previous crashes associated with the system.

The NHTSA is committed to enhancing road safety through rigorous investigations into emerging automotive technologies. With the prevalence of advanced driver assistance systems, such as BlueCruise, ensuring their effectiveness and user safety remains paramount to prevent future tragedies on the road.

As authorities delve deeper into these high-profile cases, the automotive industry faces increased scrutiny over the implementation and safeguards of autonomous driving features. The outcome of these investigations will likely shape future regulations and safety standards for automated driving systems, prioritizing the well-being of all road users.


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