A potentially messy lawsuit is being resolved.
General Motors decided to pursue legal action against Ford last summer over the latter's use of a single word: cruise. In April, Ford introduced its BlueCruise hands-free driving system that had already been successfully tested on the Ford Mustang Mach-E and F-150. GM's problem wasn't the testing itself or its rival's foray into hands-free driving but rather because its own similar system is called Super Cruise. GM believed the two systems' names are too similar and will confuse customers, so it sued Ford. Ford decided to fight back.
And now, according to the Detroit Free Press, GM is ending its lawsuit after both sides resolved the situation amicably.
A settlement is still in progress and it appears Ford will retain the use of the BlueCruise name. Spokespeople for both automakers could not confirm any terms of the settlement. "We're planning to settle the lawsuit with GM and have no further comment at this time," said Ford vehicle communications manager Mike Levine.
He further hinted that Ford will soon share additional BlueCruise technology news, thus indicating the name won't change. "In addition, we recently announced that BlueCruise will be available for the new 2022 Ford Expedition and it is already available for Mustang Mach-E and F-150," he added. One possible reason why GM ultimately realized it was best to resolve the situation came in September.
A judge's ruling during a hearing for the company's preliminary injunction blocking Ford from using the BlueCruise name. "I'm unclear about likelihood of success on the merits and that's the primary thing that would incline me to deny the motion," the judge said. Part of Ford's argument was no automaker, including itself, should hold the exclusive rights to the word "cruise."
Consumers, it argued, won't get confused because they're already familiar with a certain older technology every automaker uses: cruise control. That's just one example, but the two sides initially couldn't resolve their differences. GM decided to pursue legal action as a result. It now appears that bid would have ultimately failed.