NTSB Investigating Fatal Crash Involving Ford Hands-Free Driving Technology

A Mustang Mach-E rear-ended another SUV that was stopped on a highway, killing the other SUV's driver.


The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is looking into the role Ford’s BlueCruise hands-free driving technology may have played in a fatal collision in Texas.

The incident happened Feb. 24, when a Ford Mustang Mach-E going east on I-10 in San Antonio rear-ended a Honda CR-V stopped in a driving lane. Jeffrey Allen Johnson, 56, the driver of the CR-V, was taken to the hospital and later pronounced dead.

The NTSB’s Special Investigations Branch of the Office of Highway Safety said it will investigate “driver interactions with advanced driver assistance system (ADAS)” -- that is, if the driver of the Mustang Mach-E had BlueCruise engaged at the time of the collision -- with help from the San Antonio Police Department.

On March 15, a Ford spokesperson told Reuters the automaker “reported this incident to NHTSA as soon as we were made aware, and we are actively researching all available information. Safety is a top priority for all of us at Ford, and we will collaborate fully with any resulting investigation.”

Ford’s BlueCruise is a Level 2 driver-assistance system. Automakers are required to report any incident involving a Level 2 system to the NTSB.

Level 2 systems provide steering, braking and acceleration to support the human driver, but drivers are still required to steer, brake and accelerate as needed to maintain safety, according to SAE International, which classifies levels of driving automation.

BlueCruise works on about 130,000 miles of pre-qualified highways in North America, called "Hands-Free Blue Zones." A blue light on an equipped vehicle's instrument cluster indicates when the vehicle is in a hands-free zone.

AkzoNobel Beta web graphic v2 600px

Shop & Product Showcase