In late July, General Motors and its autonomous vehicle subsidiary Cruise filed suit against Ford Motor Company over the use of the BlueCruise name for its hands-free highway driving assistant system. According to reports, the two companies have since filed a notice of settlement and are currently working on the terms of the agreement, with sources indicating that the use of the BlueCruise name is likely to continue.
“Drivers for decades have understood what cruise control is, every automaker offers it, and ‘cruise’ is common shorthand for the capability,” Ford spokesperson Mike Levine was quoted as saying previously.
In a statement to Automotive News, GM’s director of global product development for EVs and AVs, Darryll Harrison, clarified that “GM remains committed to vigorously defending our brands and protecting the equity our products and technology have earned over several years in the market and that won’t change.”
The keyword here seems to be equity, and it’s possible that GM would allow the Blue Oval to use the BlueCruise name should it receive some sort of compensation. Notably, Mr. Levine’s most recent statement to the Detroit Free Press suggests that the terms of the agreement will at least enable the BlueCruise name to continue, as he doubles-down on the announcement of the driving assistant tech’s availability on the refreshed 2022 Ford Expedition.
“In addition, we recently announced that BlueCruise will be available for the new 2022 Ford Expedition and it is already available for Mustang Mach-E and F-150,” Levine said.
Ford initially referred to its hands-free driving technology as ‘Active Drive Assist’ but later re-named it to BlueCruise, and it doesn’t appear that the automaker is keen on making a third name change. To that end, a U.S. district judge appeared to lean in Ford’s favor, stating that “…the words you chose to use as your own are used by other people all the time.”
As of now, it looks like the two auto giants will settle this conflict outside of the courtroom.
The lawsuit was filed in District Court in Michigan. GM has sought to have similar lawsuits dismissed in the past.
The lawsuit was filed in District Court in Michigan.
GM has sought to have similar lawsuits dismissed in the past.