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NHTSA investigating Ford BlueCruise following fatal crashes



Next Gen BlueCruise

The National Highway and Trafic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened an investigation into Ford’s BlueCruise hands-free driver assist system in the wake of two fatal crashes. The agency noted a few commonalities between the crashes. They both have involved Mustang Mach-Es with BlueCruise active, and they both occurred at night with the Fords colliding with stationary vehicles in the lane they were traveling in.

Only one of the reports shows up in NHTSA’s table of incidents, at least at the moment. That crash took place in San Antonio, Texas, on a three-lane highway with a 70-mph speed limit. The Mach-E rear-ended a car that was stationary in the middle lane with the lights off. The driver of the car that was rear-ended died from the crash.

It is worth noting that BlueCruise is a hands-free driving assist that requires the driver to still be attentive and ready to take over if needed, just like systems from GM and others. Furthermore, there is no recall or advisory in effect for Ford vehicles equipped with any level of BlueCruise as of yet, as the investigation was only opened last week. So owners don’t need to do anything or avoid using BlueCruise at the moment.

This is also as good a time as any, though, to remind users of all hands-free driver assist systems from all manufacturers that you still have to pay attention and be ready in case of emergency. The same goes for less advanced driver assist systems such as adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go and lane-keeping functions.



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