- general motors announced its new ultra cruise hands-free driving system will debut in 2023 on a future cadillac model.
- the system will work on more than two million miles of every type of road in the u.s. and canada, joining super cruise, which is currently available and only works on highways.
- ultra cruise uses a combination of cameras, radar, and lidar and has a 360-degree view of the car.
general motors is adding another tier to its hands-free driving technology with its new ultra cruise system that it claims will work in 95 percent of driving situations. it will sit above super cruise, which is currently available and works on over 200,000 miles of highways across the u.s. and canada.
ultra cruise will add to that number of roads, working on more than two million miles in the u.s. and canada at launch. the goal is to reach more than 3.4 million miles, gm says. its main competition will be tesla's full self-driving tech (it's not really full self-driving), which is still in beta status and not widely available. however, tesla's system can currently only be engaged on roads with lane paint, and gm says that ultra cruise can be engaged on subdivision streets, which would give it a leg up on fsd.
ultra cruise uses a combination of cameras, radars, and lidar; that last one is a big deal as it's the first case of this tech being deployed on a vehicle sold to the public in the u.s. super cruise uses lidar map data stored onboard, but doesn’t use a sensor. gm says the system's functions will show on a dynamic display, which will have a 360-degree view of the car. the system will follow navigation and speed limits, react to traffic control such as traffic lights (much like tesla's fsd), avoid close objects, and, like super cruise, perform automated lane changes. gm says the system will improve itself over time based on real-world learnings and also can be updated over the air.
the system will adopt super cruise's driver attention camera that's located on top of the steering wheel column and tracks drivers' eyes to make sure they're paying attention to the road. we tested super cruise along with numerous other automakers' driver-assist systems and found that gm's system can be tricked with eyeball glasses and be engaged without a driver in the seat.
gm says that ultra cruise will be reserved for more luxurious models in its lineup, and cadillac will introduce the tech in 2023, likely on the upcoming lyriq electric crossover. super cruise will be reserved for its "mainstream models" such as the chevy silverado, which recently added the tech.