Hands-free driving technology is quickly turning into a battlefield.
General Motors and its automation subsidiary Cruise filed a legal challenge against Ford Motor Company over its “BlueCruise” hands-free technology. The automaker insists Ford deliberately chose that name to infringe upon its and Cruise’s trademark, namely the “Super Cruise” technology that’s starting to make its way into more vehicles like the Cadillac Escalade, and soon the GMC Sierra.
“Ford knew what it was doing,” GM posits in their lawsuit. “Ford’s decision to rebrand by using a core mark used by GM and Cruise will inevitably cause confusion.” For their part, General Motors has been using their Super Cruise name since 2017, while they’ve held the trademark since 2013. The Blue Oval formally announced it would use ‘BlueCruise’ to market their hands-free, semi-autonomous system earlier this year.
Ford referred to the lawsuit, filed last Friday, as “meritless and frivolous.” The company says it’s adapting the age-old, universally accepted “cruise control” as the basis for part of the name, as well as the hallmark Blue Oval, hence BlueCruise. “Drivers for decades have understood what cruise control is, every automaker offers it, and ‘cruise’ is a common shorthand for the capability,” Ford said in its own statement.
More competition = more conflict?
General Motors and Cruise are suing Ford to stop its use of the BlueCruise name, as well as for unspecified damages. Whatever the outcome — and we may have to wait awhile to see this case resolved — conflicts in the intensifying world of advanced driver assistance systems is sure to heat up even further. Tesla’s ‘Autopilot’ feature is currently one of the benchmarks, while virtually every other automaker is funneling resources toward development for competing tech.
See one of our most recent videos on GM’s own Super Cruise technology below:
H/T to Reuters for their initial reporting.