Ford’s hands-free BlueCruise system was lively earlier than deadly Texas crash

The driving force of a Mustang Mach-E who crashed right into a stationary automotive in Texas in February was utilizing Ford’s hands-free driver help system, BlueCruise, in response to data obtained by the Nationwide Transportation Security Board.

It’s the primary recognized fatality ensuing from a crash involving using BlueCruise, which Ford first introduced in 2021. The system permits drivers to take their fingers off the wheel on pre-mapped highways, and makes use of eye-tracking to find out whether or not drivers are being attentive to the street.

The NTSB’s announcement that BlueCruise was lively in the course of the Texas crash comes simply sooner or later after the protection board introduced it’s probing a second fatal crash close to Philadelphia the place Ford’s driver help system could have been lively. Ford informed TechCrunch on the time that it reported the Texas crash to the Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration, and that it was “actively researching all available information.” The corporate declined to remark additional on Thursday.

That second crash additionally concerned the Ford impacting two stationary automobiles, elevating questions on whether or not the automaker’s driver help system has an analogous downside to what Tesla has handled for years with Autopilot. NHTSA has spent nearly three years investigating greater than a dozen crashes the place Tesla drivers utilizing Autopilot have crashed into stationary emergency autos.

The February crash occurred simply exterior San Antonio. A 1999 Honda CR-V was stationary within the middle lane of Interstate 10 with no lights on at round 9:50 p.m. CT, when the Mustang Mach-E crashed into the again of it. The Honda flipped over and wound up within the left lane. The protection board stated Thursday that the Mustang driver “had been operating the vehicle in BlueCruise mode before the crash.” The 56-year-old driver of the Honda died after being transferred to the San Antonio Navy Medical Middle, in response to the police report, whereas the driving force of the Mustang sustained “minor injuries.” Police discovered no indicators of intoxication within the Mustang driver. The NTSB stated one other driver missed the Honda moments earlier than the Mustang crashed into it.

The NTSB launched on Thursday what’s generally known as a preliminary report, and remains to be investigating the crash. A spokesperson stated a last report is more likely to be revealed inside 12 to 24 months. NHTSA is also probing the Texas crash, in response to The Wall Avenue Journal.

This story has been up to date to notice that Ford declined to touch upon the brand new data from the NTSB.