NTSB: Ford BlueCruise engaged in fatal San Antonio, TX crash

Credit: Ford

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has noted that an ill-fated Ford Mustang Mach-E that was involved in a fatal crash with a Honda CR-V in San Antonio, Texas, on February 24, 2024, had its BlueCruise active driving assistance system engaged. The incident resulted in the death of the CR-V’s driver. 

The use of BlueCruise in the Mustang Mach-E was hinted at by San Antonio police, who noted that the all-electric crossover had “partial automation” engaged at the time of the collision. As per the NTSB, a witness traveling in front of the Mach-E noted that she manually changed lanes to avoid hitting the CR-V, which was stopped without its tail lights or hazards engaged. The witness noted that she saw another vehicle hit the Honda from her rearview mirror. 

“The Ford was equipped with numerous advanced driver assistance systems, including those providing partial automation capabilities that Ford calls ‘BlueCruise.’ Based on data obtained from the vehicle, the driver had been operating the vehicle in BlueCruise mode before the crash,” the NTSB wrote in its release.

The NTSB is also looking into a Ford Mustang Mach-E crash that occurred on March 3, 2024, in Philadelphia. The vehicle’s active driving assistance system is also suspected to have been involved in the crash, as noted in a Reuters report. The Philadelphia crash involved a Mach-E hitting two stationary cars on the I-95 interstate. Two people passed away due to the incident, and traffic was adversely affected for hours after the crash. 

The NTSB has noted that it was investigating the Philadelphia crash in collaboration with the Pennsylvania State Police. Ford, for its part, has noted that it was recently made aware of the Philadelphia crash by the NTSB. The automaker has informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about the incident as well.

“We are researching the events of March 3 and collaborating fully with both agencies to understand the facts,” Ford noted. 

Ford is not the only automaker whose driver-assist solution has been subjected to scrutiny. Tesla’s Autopilot system has been the focus of much scrutiny and criticism over the years, with the NTSB and NHTSA opening several investigations into the EV maker’s driver-assist system. These culminated in Tesla issuing a “recall” — in the form of an over-the-air software update — for over 2 million vehicles last December. The “recall” rolled out more assertive driver checks and more prominent visual alerts when Autopilot is engaged. 

Ford has marketed BlueCruise as a hands-free driving system for areas where it could be activated, called Blue Zones. As per Ford, BlueCruise works on 97% of US and Canadian highways with no intersections or traffic lights. Reviewers have received BlueCruise positively, with Consumer Reports rating the solution as its top-ranked active driving assistance system

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Simon Alvarez: Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.
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