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US says Ford Mustang used driver assistance systems in Texas crash

US says Ford Mustang used driver assistance systems in Texas crash

A Ford Mustang Mach-E was using an advanced steering assistance system when it crashed into the rear of a Honda CR-V on Interstate 10 in San Antonio, Texas, on Feb. 24, U.S. investigators said Thursday.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said Ford uses the “BlueCruise” system. Using vehicle data, Ford was able to identify the Honda's 56-year-old driver before the crash, using a special system, the NTSB said.

A San Antonio police report already said the Ford was “partial automation” activated at the time of the crash.

The NTSB and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said the Texas crash and the March 3 Ford Mac-E crash in Philadelphia involved the advanced steering assist system.

Ford BlueCruise offers a hands-free driving system that works on 97% of U.S. and Canadian highways as long as there are no intersections or traffic lights.

A witness who was traveling in front of the Ford saw the Honda stopped without its lights or hazard lights on, the NTSB said. She swerved to avoid hitting the back of the Honda and saw in her rearview mirror another car crash into the parked vehicle.

In a Philadelphia crash, a Ford crashed into two parked vehicles on the I-95 interstate, killing two people and snarling traffic for hours.

Ford recently learned of the Philadelphia crash through the NTSB and notified NHTSA, which requires automakers to report all fatal incidents involving advanced driver assistance systems.

“We are studying the events of March 3 and cooperating fully with both companies to understand the facts,” Ford said.

In December, electric car maker Tesla agreed to recall 2 million units to install new safeguards in its Autopilot driver assistance system.

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In recent years, the NTSB has opened several investigations into Tesla's Autopilot and other similar systems.