Ford hits back at GM, calls lawsuit 'meritless and frivolous'
Ford has hit back at General Motors after the latter filed a lawsuit claiming that Ford violated a trademark by naming its self-driving vehicles unit as 'BlueCruise'. The lawsuit was filed to protect GM's hands-free driving technology brands Cruise and Super-Cruise.
Replying to GM's claims and calling them 'meritless and frivolous', Ford's North America Product Communications director, Mike Levine said 'Cruise' is common shorthand for the self-driving capability and drivers have been understanding the meaning of 'Cruise control' as this. "Any number of companies use the word “cruise" to brand driver assist technology. That’s why BlueCruise was chosen," he wrote on Twitter.
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Levine also gave a list of other companies using the term 'Cruise' to brand their autonomous technologies. Among these are Bendix's SmartCruise, Hyundai's Smart Cruise Control and BMW's Active Cruise Control.
GM had filed a lawsuit after the two parties failed to resolve the matter amicably. The car maker had said that Ford knew what it was doing when it used the BlueCruise name to rebrand its tech using GM's trademark and that this will inevitably cause confusion.
Super Cruise by first introduced by GM in 2017 on the Cadillac CT6. The tech allowed drivers to take their hands off the wheel for brief periods whilst on the road. Post that, the technology has been expanded to allow vehicles to change lanes autonomously and GM also plans to offer this technology on its othet models. The car maker's self-driving car start-up is called Cruise LLC.
Ford announced the name of its driver-assist system in April and the BlueCruise technology will be made available on F-150 pickup and Mustang Mach-E later this year. It will be made available via over-the-air updates on the existing models for a price of $600, including three years of service.
(with inputs from Reuters)