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NHTSA Opens Probe Into Ford’s BlueCruise Technology After Two Fatal Crashes

by | April 29, 2024

The National Highway Transportation Safety Agency announces new investigation into Ford’s BlueCruise technology after reports of collisions surface. Latest investigation follows ongoing probe into Tesla’s Autopilot technology 

2023 Mustang Mach-E Premium Front

The NHTSA announced an investigation into BlueCruise after two crashes involving Mach-E

Autonomous driving technology continues to be a prominent driving force behind new automobiles as more automakers race to give drivers the ability to experience partial or full hands-off driving in certain environments. GM’s Super Cruise system and Tesla’s Autopilot are just a few of the systems that are rapidly becoming more integrated into the lives of consumers. 

However, the safety of these systems is also becoming more of a hot-button issue, especially in the wake of the NHTSA’s recent investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot feature. The agency is now potentially expanding its reach to other similar systems after announcing a new investigation into Ford’s BlueCruise system due to a pair of fatal collisions. 

 NHTSA probe comes after fatalities 

NHTSA is focusing on how the system handles driving tasks and the camera monitoring system



The NHTSA revealed that it opened its probe into BlueCruise after the agency received two reports of fatal crashes involving the system. Both incidents involved Mustang Mach-E models that were driven at night in low-lighting conditions. The agency’s initial investigation confirmed that BlueCruise was active both times just before both EVs collided with stationary vehicles. 

The first crash occurred in San Antonio, Texas in February with one person being killed while the second collision took place in March in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with two people dying in that incident. The investigation will focus on how BlueCruise handles driving tasks with a special focus on the camera monitoring technology that’s integrated into the feature. The latter item will be important since both of these incidents took place at night which is a time when the cameras have to work harder to provide images due to darkness.   

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Investigation comes on the heels of other probes 

BlueCruise investigation comes on the heels of a separate probe into Tesla’s Autopilot

Ford for its part announced that it’s supporting the NHTSA in its investigation and that the company intends to fully cooperate with the agency while it conducts its probe into BlueCruise. Ford’s system is a partially autonomous system and like GM’s Super Cruise system, it allows drivers to let the vehicle operate itself on pre-mapped sections of freeway with the feature having the ability to brake and make lane changes by itself. 

This latest investigation also follows a prior investigation the agency launched into Tesla’s Autopilot feature, with the probe revealing last week that not only a voluntary recall in December of 2023 wasn’t enough to stop crashes, but that the system had a “critical safety gap” which contributed to the feature being linked to over 460 crashes. Unlike Ford, Tesla chose to not release a public response to the NHTSA’s findings in that investigation and has remained silent on the issue.  


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