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HomeCruiseFord’s Blue Cruise self-driving tech used during fatal crash: NTSB

Ford’s Blue Cruise self-driving tech used during fatal crash: NTSB

The driver of an electric Ford SUV involved in a fatal crash earlier this year was using the automaker’s self-driving technology at the time of the reck, federal investigators concluded on Thursday.
The National Transportation Safety Board said in a preliminary report that the Ford Mustang Mach-E involved in the deadly accident on on Interstate Highway 10 in San Antonio, Texas, on Feb. 24 had “Blue Cruise” in use.
Based on data from the vehicle, the Ford driver had been operating in Blue Cruise — which Ford touts as a “hands-free highway driving technology” — before crashing into the rear of a stationary Honda CR-V, killing the 56-year-old Honda driver, the NTSB said.
4 The National Transportation Safety Board said in a preliminary report Thursday that the driver of this Ford Mustang Mach-E during a fatal crash in February had the vehicle’s self-driving “Blue Cruise” mode activated. NTSB
A San Antonio police report said previously the Ford had “partial automation” engaged at the time of the crash.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has also said that it’s investigating the San Antonio accident — as well as another fatal accident that took place in Philadelphia on March 3 involving a Ford Mach-E where Blue Cruise was also suspected to be in use.
NHTSA requires automakers to report all fatal crashes involving advanced driver assistance systems.
The Pennsylvania State Police said Thursday that a Mach-E was in the left lane when it struck a stationary Hyundai Elantra that had collided earlier with a Toyota Prius, Fortune earlier reported.
During the crash, the driver of the Prius, who was outside of his vehicle, was struck and thrown into the southbound lanes, the release said, and a person from the Hyundai also was on the roadway and was hit.
Both individuals, males aged 21 and 20, were pronounced dead at the scene, according to Fortune, citing a police news release.
4 The 56-year-old driver of this Honda CR-V during the February crash on San Antonio, Texas’ Interstate Highway 10 was killed in the tragic accident. NTSB
A criminal investigation surrounding the March 3 crash is also underway, and the 23-year-old driver of the Ford Mach-E believed to be in Blue Cruise mode faces charges of homicide by motor vehicle while driving under the influence.
In both instances, the Ford Mach-Es rammed into vehicles stopped on freeways at night — and neither the driver nor the supposedly high-tech systems were able to stop the collisions from happening.
Ford’s website, however, boasts that its Blue Cruise system allows drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel while it handles steering, braking and acceleration on 97% of controlled access highways across the US and Canada.
4 Similarly, a Ford electric Mach-E believed to also have Blue Cruise engaged crashed into a Hyundai Elantra that had collided earlier with a Toyota Prius on a Pennsylvania highway. The accident killed two males, aged 21 and 20. Ford
Still, the company has issued warnings that the tech — which it introduced in the 2021 model of its Mustang Mach-E and F-150 vehicles — does not replace human drivers, who have to be ready to take control at any time.
A spokesperson for Ford told The Post that “there no priority higher than safety” at the company, and noted that it’s “collaborating fully with both the NHTSA and the NTSB.”
It’s not the first time that the NHTSA and the NTSB have investigated crashes involving self-driving technology.
Most notably, Elon Musk’s Tesla recalled nearly all of its vehicles sold in the US late last year to fix a flaw in its “Autopilot” assisted-driving system — which came as Virginia officials found a car had the software enabled during a fatal crash last July.
4 Ford’s Blue Cruise tech — which allows drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel while it handles steering, braking and acceleration — does not replace human drivers, the company warns on its website. Ford
The recall of more than 2 million cars — reportedly the largest in Tesla’s history — emerged as part of an ongoing investigation by the NTSB that began began more than two years ago and included reviews of 956 crashes that allegedly involved Autopilot.
The government agency determined that Tesla Autopilot’s existing safeguards “may not be sufficient to prevent driver misuse” of the software.
Before being allowed to sell its electric fleet again, Tesla had to ensure its vehicles received “additional controls and alerts,” per the NTSB’s request, that prompt drivers to pay attention when using Autopilot, including by keeping both hands on the steering wheel and watching the road.
With Post wires.

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