General Motors and its autonomous vehicle subsidiary Cruise are suing Ford Motor Company over its usage of the name ‘BlueCruise’.
GM and Cruise filed suit against Ford on Friday in the U.S. District Court of Northern California. In the filing, GM said Ford did “not have the permission or consent of Cruise or GM,” to use the BlueCruise name for its hands-free highway driving assistant system. The automaker also alleges the BlueCruise name “is likely to cause confusion, mistake, or to deceive, as to the affiliation, connection, or association between Ford and both GM and Cruise,” and that its usage infringes on its federal and common law trademark rights.
GM’s suit also the automaker “quickly took action after Ford’s announcement to try to persuade Ford to rebrand its unreleased enhancement, but to no avail.” The Ford BlueCruise system was first announced last year and operates similar to GM’s SuperCruise system, pairing adaptive cruise control with lane-centering to enable hands-free driving capability on over 100,000
miles of divided highways in the U.S. and Canada.
In an emailed statement sent to The Detroit News, Ford spokesman Mike Levine called the GM lawsuit “meritless and frivolous,” as the word “cruise” has been used to refer to cruise control-style systems for years and years.
“Drivers for decades have understood what cruise control is, every automaker offers it, and “cruise” is common shorthand for the capability,” Levine told The Detroit News. “That’s why BlueCruise was chosen as the name for the Blue Oval’s next evolution of Ford’s Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, which incorporates hands-free Blue Zones and other advanced cruise-control features.”
Ford initially referred to its highway drive assist system as ‘Active Drive Assist’ but later re-named it to BlueCruise. Blue Cruise will launch this year through an over-the-air-update on 2021 Ford F-150 or Mustang Mach-E models already equipped with the Ford Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0 Prep Package.