General Motors said early Saturday morning that it had sued Ford Motor Co. over the name of Ford’s new hands-free driving technology: BlueCruise.
In April, Ford introduced its BlueCruise hands-free system for highway driving. Ford said at the time that BlueCruise will hit the streets in a few months as the system will be installed via over-the-air download in thousands of already-sold 2021 F-150 pickups and Mustang Mach-E electric SUVs.
Ford said a $ 600 subscription fee will get an update to owners of vehicles already equipped with BlueCruise hardware, allowing hands-free driving on 100,000 miles of shared highways in the US and Canada. Ford expects more than 100,000 vehicles to be on the road with BlueCruise by the end of the year.
Problem is, GM thinks the name sounds a lot like its hands-free driving technology called Super Cruise, which debuted in 2017.
GM also has its California-based automated driving subsidiary, Cruise, which develops self-driving cars.
>> Read the lawsuit
For the past few weeks automakers have been “in good faith” about Ford’s use of the BlueCruise moniker, said a source familiar with the conversations who refused to be named because he was not authorized to share the information with the media . As part of those brokered conversations, there was an expiration date on which any company could file a lawsuit, and that date was July 24th at 12:01 am.
GM filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Ford in the US District Court in Northern California. The person said it was a last resort; GM was hoping to reach an agreement with Ford.
The Free Press received a copy of the lawsuit shortly after GM announced the filing, and in a post-filing statement, GM said, “GM’s Super Cruise hands-free driver assistance technology was announced in 2012 and has been in commercial use since 2017. Ours majority-owned, self-propelled subsidiary Cruise has been in business since 2013. While GM had hoped to amicably resolve the trademark infringement with Ford, we had no choice but to vigorously defend our brands, and our products and technologies have earned equity in the market over several years. As the litigation is pending, we have no further comments at this time. “
In the lawsuit, GM said, “Ford knew exactly what it was doing. If Ford wanted to adopt a new, unique brand, it would easily have done so without the word “Cruise”, as the Ford branding shows for automated driving technology in their luxury car models: Ford has the same extension of its automated driving system in luxury models as the Lincoln as “ActiveGlide” -Function branded.
GM is demanding monetary damages and urging Ford to stop using the name.
In response to the lawsuit, Ford spokesman Mike Levine said in an e-mailed statement, “We believe GM Cruise’s allegation is unfounded and frivolous. Drivers have understood what cruise control is for decades, every automaker offers it, and “cruise” is a common abbreviation for. This is why BlueCruise was chosen as the name for the next evolution of Ford’s Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control of the Blue Oval, the hands-free Blue Includes Zones and other advanced cruise control features.
Levine said GM has no problem with other “cruise” names like Robocruise, the brand for RoboCars, Smart Cruise Control at Hyundai and Active Cruise Control at BMW.
On Friday, GM announced that Super Cruise will offer trailer pulling and 100% automated overtaking if you come across a slower vehicle on light and heavy model year GMC Sierra 2022 pickups.
Super Cruise, which combines sensors and an extremely precise map of restricted access roads in the US and Canada, was previously only available in high-end Cadillacs. Only the Cadillac Escalade offers it for the 2021 model.
In addition to the Sierra, 2022 models of the Chevrolet Silverado will offer full-size pickups, Cadillac CT4 and CT5 sports sedans and GMC Hummer EV pickups Super Cruise. It will be used on a total of 23 vehicles in model year 2023, including the upcoming Hummer SUV and Cadillac Lyriq electric vehicles.
GM has announced that it will offer Super Cruise on 22 models by the end of 2023.
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Contact Jamie L. LaReau at 313-222-2149 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @jlareauan. Read more on General Motors and sign up for ours Auto newsletter. Become a subscriber.