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GM And Cruise Approaches To Stop Ford Using 'Bluecruise' Name For Hands-Free Driving

GM And Cruise Approaches To Stop Ford Using 'Bluecruise' Name For Hands-Free Driving
A federal court in the United States has been approached by General Motors Co and its Cruise robo-taxi subsidiary to stop the use of the name "BlueCruise" by Ford Motor Co in its marketing campaign for its hands-free driving technology.
This was stated by GM on Saturday.
The use of the BlueCruise name by Ford had infringed on GM's Super Cruise and other GM trademarks that the company has taken for automated driving, such as Hyper Cruise, as well as Cruise's trademarks, GM said in a statement and documents released shortly after midnight Detroit time.
"While GM had hoped to resolve the trademark infringement matter with Ford amicably, we were left with no choice but to vigorously defend our brands and protect the equity our products and technology have earned over several years in the market," GM said in its statement.
GM and Cruise's claim was called "meritless and frivolous", Ford said in a statement.
"Drivers for decades have understood what cruise control is, every automaker offers it, and 'cruise' is common shorthand for the capability," it said.
No action had been taken by GM against other companies using the word "cruise" in their marketing names for describing automated driving systems, Ford also noted in its response.
There is a race among auto companies to develop and deploy such technologies that allow drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel when they are in traffic jams or are cruising on highways. Such technology that has been called Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, as can be found in Tesla Inc's semi-automated Autopilot technology, is not designed to allow drivers to completely disengage from driving vehicles for long periods of time.
The word “cruise” has been used for decades by automakers for describing cruise control systems that give the option for drivers to set a speed that the car will maintain typically when they are driving on a highway.
In its complaint, GM argues that "automated driving is not cruise control."
Back in 20212, GM had announced that it would use the name Super Cruise for its hands-free driver assistance technology. That name has been used by the company since 2017 to market the technology. Cruise self-driving vehicle unit of GM has been in operation since 2013.
It was in April back this year that Ford said it would be using the name BlueCruise for marketing its hands-free driving technology.
GM had engaged in "protracted discussions" with Ford before the company decided to approach the court, said GM's lawyers in their complaint.
GM contends Ford's BlueCruise system "is far less advanced than Cruise’s technology and thus likely to yield an inferior consumer experience, with the potential for comfort and safety issues" that could tarnish the Super Cruise brand.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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