GM sues Ford over hands-free branding

General Motors is suing rival Ford over claims it’s violated a trademarked driver-assist technology that’s used for hands-free features.

Bloomberg reports that GM says it’s taking action to protect the Cruise and Super-Cruise brands after Ford renamed its Co-Pilot360 automated driving system as “Blue Cruise”. The report says that GM says talks to resolve the issue had been unsuccessful.

“Ford knew exactly what it was doing,” a unit of Detroit-based GM said in documents filed with the US District Court Northern District of California. “If Ford wanted to adopt a new, unique, brand, it easily could have done so without using the word ‘Cruise’.”

Bloomberg says GM first introduced “Super Cruise”, which allows drivers to take their hands off the wheel for brief periods, on the Cadillac CT6 in 2017. Since then, the company has expanded the technology to allow cars to change lanes on their own, and plans to offer the feature on more models. The feature also shares a name with Cruise LLC, the self-driving car startup that is majority-controlled by GM.

A Ford spokesman didn’t immediately respond to Bloomberg’s request for comment.

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