It’s understandable that two of the world’s biggest automakers might have their disagreements every now and again.
Well, there’s a fresh spat to be addressed in Detroit, and this time it’s over a word: Cruise.
General Motors has hit Ford with a lawsuit that argues that Ford’s “BlueCruise” driver assist technology infringes on the patent it holds for its own hands-free driving technology, “Super Cruise.”
GM’s Super Cruise was unveiled in 2012 and applied first to the Cadillac CT6 in 2017. It wasn’t until 2021 that Ford dropped its rival tech, and now the two sides are squaring off with public statements over each company’s intention.
GM said it was “left with no choice” but to sue its crosstown rival, claiming the BlueCruise name was intentionally generating confusion in the market. According to Reuters, which viewed the legal documents, GM is claiming that "Ford knew what it was doing.”
But Ford has fired back, saying that GM is being inconsistent with its response to BlueCruise when the automaker “has had zero issue with other 'cruise' names." In support of their argument, Ford identified rival technologies, including Hyundai's Smart Cruise Control and BMW's Active Cruise Control, names that didn’t result in legal filings from GM.
Ford elaborated in defense of its name, contending that “'cruise' is common shorthand for the capability" that every automaker has offered for decades: cruise control. Ford simply believes that BlueCruise is the latest iteration of advanced cruise control, which now incorporates hands-free tech.
According to reports, GM is hoping to block Ford’s use of the name. Meanwhile, Ford is planning to cruise ahead and build the technology in models like the F-150 and Mustang Mach-E as early as this year.