Autonomous Vehicle

NTSB investigates Ford’s BlueCruise after two fatal crashes

Date: April 16, 2024.Ford‘s hands-free driver-assistance system, BlueCruise, is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) following two fatal crashes involving Mustang Mach-E vehicles.

Two fatal crashes involving Ford Mustang Mach-E vehicles equipped with the BlueCruise system have led to three tragic fatalities. The accidents, which occurred in Texas and Pennsylvania in early March, resulted in three deaths. In the Texas crash, investigators confirmed the BlueCruise system was active at the time of the collision. The Pennsylvania crash is still under investigation to determine if BlueCruise played a role.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has initiated an investigation into these accidents, with a particular focus on the role of the BlueCruise system. Confirmation that the system was active during at least one of the crashes raises questions about the efficacy and safety protocols of advanced driver assist systems. BlueCruise, heralded as Ford’s advanced hands-free driving technology, demands driver’s attentiveness despite its automation, adding complexity to the inquiry.

Public concern over the safety of automated driving technologies has surged following these incidents. Previously lauded by Consumer Reports as the most effective and safest among automated systems, BlueCruise’s recent poor rating by the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) underscores the urgency of the NTSB’s investigation and the potential implications for the future of driver-assist systems in the United States.

The NTSB’s final report on the investigation is anticipated to be published in a year or more. Meanwhile, the incidents have raised questions about the reliability of driver-assist systems and their potential to prevent or cause accidents. The automotive industry and regulatory bodies will closely watch the outcomes of the NTSB’s investigation.

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