NTSB looking at Ford BlueCruise system following fatal accident

Credit: Ford

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is currently investigating an accident that took place in Texas last month, after a Ford vehicle with BlueCruise crashed into a stopped vehicle on the highway, causing a fatality.

On February 24, a Ford Mustang Mach-E going east on I-10 in San Antonio collided with a Honda CR-V that was stopped in a driving lane, after which the 56-year-old CR-V driver, Jeffrey Allen Johnson, was transported to the hospital and later pronounced dead.

The agency announced that it has opened an investigation into the accident on Friday, seeking to determine if BlueCruise was engaged at the time of the accident. The agency’s Special Investigations Branch of the Office of Highway Safety is evaluating the wreckage from the crash, in cooperation with the San Antonio Police Department.

​”We have initiated an investigation into a crash involving an electric-powered SUV that struck the back of a stationary passenger vehicle on Interstate 10 in San Antonio, Texas,” wrote the agency on its website. “Safety issues to be examined include driver interactions with advanced driver assistance system (ADAS).”

The NTSB’s investigation ID for the accident is HWY24FH006, and the agency is expecting to have an initial report prepared within about 30 days. Automakers must report any fatal accidents involving a Level 2 driver-assistance system, like BlueCruise, directly to the agency.

On Friday, a Ford spokesperson told Reuters that the automaker “reported this incident to NHTSA as soon as we were made aware, and we are actively researching all available information. Safety is a top priority for all of us at Ford, and we will collaborate fully with any resulting investigation.”

Ford BlueCruise, GM SuperCruise ranked as best Driver Assistance systems, Tesla Autopilot ranks 7th

BlueCruise, which Ford calls a “hands-free highway driving” system, qualifies as a Level 2 automated system because it requires ongoing monitoring from the driver, who must be prepared to regain control of the vehicle at all times. Ford also says that BlueCruise is available on 97 percent of controlled-access highways in the U.S. and Canada.

Below is a breakdown of the SAE’s automation system rankings, along with a video from Ford detailing how to use BlueCruise in the Mustang Mach-E.

Credit: SAE International

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NTSB looking at Ford BlueCruise system following fatal accident
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