It is reported that General Motors is developing a new semi-autonomous driving system, which is called “Ultra Cruise” internally. The next-generation semi-autonomous driving system could take GM’s current self-driving system, Super Cruise, from the highway to city streets.
It is understood that Super Cruise launched exclusively on the Cadillac CT6 in 2017 and will soon be added to the redesigned 2021 Escalade and new 2021 CT4 and CT5 sedans. It will then roll out to all Cadillac models and then to other GM brands.
Tesla and General Motors are considered leaders in semi-autonomous driver assistance systems. Other automakers, such as Nissan and Ford, also have advanced adaptive cruise control systems that control vehicle distance and the distance between the vehicle and lane markings. However, these systems are not as robust in real-world driving situations.
GM launched Super Cruise in 2017, two years after Tesla launched Autopilot. Although the development of the system dates back about 10 years, the company has been very conservative in launching the technology. With a slower rollout and extra safety measures, Super Cruise hasn’t gotten as much attention as Autopilot.
Unlike Autopilot, Super Cruise can only travel on more than 200,000 miles (300,000 kilometers) of highways in the United States and Canada. These road segments are already mapped using high-definition lidar technology to aid in-vehicle cameras, radar and sensors. In addition, Super Cruise uses facial recognition technology to determine whether the driver is paying attention, so the driver can take his hands off the drive while the system is running. Earlier this year, GM said it planned to expand its Super Cruise system to 22 vehicles by 2023.
Doug Parks, GM’s executive vice president of global product development, procurement and supply chain, said the new system doesn’t support full self-driving, “We’re trying to focus on how to provide extras at a reasonable price in off-highway environments. Driver assistance features.” Parks also said that Ultra Cruise may not be an official name, but did not disclose when the system will be released or other details.