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Ford’s hands-free BlueCruise technology was activated before the tragic Texas collision.

According to data received by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the driver of a Mustang Mach-E that collided with a stopped automobile in Texas in February was using Ford’s hands-free driving assistance system, BlueCruise.

This is the first reported death as a result of an incident involving BlueCruise, which Ford revealed in 2021. Drivers may take their hands off the wheel on pre-mapped highways, and the system employs eye tracking to detect whether or not they are paying attention to the road.

The NTSB’s admission that BlueCruise was engaged during the Texas collision comes only one day after the agency said that it is investigating a second fatal crash near Philadelphia in which Ford’s driver-assistance system may have been activated. At the time, Ford told Eltrys that it had reported the Texas collision to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and was “actively researching all available information.” On Thursday, the business refused to provide any more comment.

That second collision similarly featured the Ford colliding with two stopped automobiles, raising concerns about whether the automaker’s driver-assistance technology had a similar issue to what Tesla has faced with Autopilot for years. The NHTSA has spent almost three years examining more than a dozen incidents in which Tesla drivers using Autopilot collided with stopped emergency vehicles.

The February collision occurred just outside San Antonio. A 1999 Honda CR-V, stalled in the middle lane of Interstate 10 with no lights on, collided with the Mustang Mach-E at approximately 9:50 p.m. CT. The Honda toppled over and ended up in the left lane. According to the safety board, the Mustang driver “had been operating the vehicle in BlueCruise mode before the crash.” According to the police report, the 56-year-old driver of the Honda succumbed to his injuries at the San Antonio Military Medical Center, while the driver of the Mustang sustained only minor injuries. The police discovered no evidence of drunkenness in the Mustang driver. The NTSB said that another motorist missed the Honda just before the Mustang collided with it.

On Thursday, the NTSB issued a preliminary report and said that it is still investigating the disaster. A spokeswoman stated that they would issue a final report within 12 to 24 months. The NHTSA is also looking into the Texas collision, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Juliet P.
Author: Juliet P.

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