Ford’s BlueCruise system is under investigation after two fatal crashes

Ford’s BlueCruise system is under investigation after two fatal crashes

If the hands-free driving system Tesla makes a lot of headlines for the wrong reasons, that of Ford — called BlueCruise — is far from immune to criticism, either.

In the United States, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has opened an investigation after two fatal accidents that Mustang Mach-E hitting parked cars.

One occurred in Texas late in the evening when the BlueCruise system was operating. The unfortunate victim is the driver of a Honda CR-V that was hit by a Ford electric SUV. Another could not avoid the car that was stopped in the middle of the I-10 highway due to a problem and whose lights were off. The weather was clear and the street lights were working, however.

A witness told the NTSB that he drove by the CR-V but immediately saw the collision in his rearview mirror.

Another accident occurred in Pennsylvania, although it is not yet clear whether the driver was hands free. Two cars stopped on I-95 in the middle of the night were struck by a Mustang Mach-E, killing their drivers. According to Associated Pressone of the drivers was out of his car at the time of impact.

The NTSB is working with Ford and local law enforcement to better determine what may have happened in both cases. Its final report is only expected to be released in a year, however.

Photo: Ford

The BlueCruise system works in various conditions on planned routes – like Super Cruise at GM – and uses an on-board infrared camera to detect that the person behind the wheel is maintaining their attention on the road, day or night. Its versions 1.2 and 1.3 allow automatic lane changes and driving in rougher curves.

In 2023, the American magazine Consumer Reports a tested several autonomous driving systems and concluded that the Ford was better and safer. In contrast, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the United States found very different results in his own assessment, as we told you about last month. Only one system, that of Lexus, received an acceptable score, with BlueCruise ranking among the worst performers.

See also: Should we trust autonomous driving systems?