GM launches expanded Super Cruise, starting with full-size SUVs
General Motors has announced that the first vehicles capable of using its expansive 400,000-mile Super Cruise road network are four full-size SUV models, which will begin arriving in customer hands mid-month.
The four are the Chevrolet Tahoe, in High Country and Premier trim; the Chevrolet Suburban, in High Country and Premier versions; the Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV and Escalade-V; and the GMC Yukon Denali Ultimate. These are all 2023 models.
The extension applies to vehicles built on or after October 3, 2022 and ordered with the Super Cruise option.
GM said it will expand the network of existing Super Cruise vehicles built on GM’s VIP Electric Architecture at no additional cost over the coming months, via over-the-air (OTA) software updates. “OTA software updates may provide more improvements over time for eligible vehicles,” the company said.
Super Cruise will be available on 22 vehicles worldwide by the end of 2023, GM said.
“GM is committed to expanding access to Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), bringing these technologies to more vehicles on more roads, while prioritizing safe deployment,” said the OEM in a press release.
Super Cruise relies on its digitally mapped road network, where advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) technology can be used in what GM calls “hands-free” mode. The company announced that it would be double the size of the network to over 400,000 in August 2022.
Since the technology was introduced in 2017, GM vehicles have traveled more than 34 million miles with Super Cruise engaged, the OEM and its partner Trimble Autonomy said earlier this month in a joint press release.
Super Cruise relies on highly detailed lidar mapping data, real-time cameras, radars and GPS, which work together through “sensor fusion” to give the system a real-time view of the surrounding environment. the vehicle.
The system accelerates or brakes the vehicle to maintain a selected following deviation from a vehicle ahead and steers to maintain lane position while using a camera to monitor the driver’s head and/or eye position to make sure he’s paying attention. On some vehicles, Super Cruise may perform driver and system initiated lane changes.
Like Tesla’s Autopilot with full self-driving, Ford’s Blue Cruise and BMW’s Extended Traffic Jam Assist, Super Cruise falls under the SAE Tier 2 designation for systems capable of handling steering, acceleration and deceleration, but still require constant attention from the driver.
The expansion of GM’s network comes as some voice concerns about drivers’ unrealistic beliefs in the capabilities of driver assistance systems.
In a study published in October, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that drivers who use partial automation frequently treat their vehicles as fully autonomous, confident that they can perform non-driving activities like eat or text while staying behind the wheel.
In the study, 53% of Super Cruise users said they were comfortable viewing their vehicles as fully autonomous, as did 42% of Tesla Autopilot users and 12% of Nissan/Infiniti ProPILOT Assist users. , which the IIHS called “worrying.” ”
The institute said it conducted the study “Habits, Attitudes and Expectations of Regular Users of Partial Driving Automation Systems” to better understand how automation influences drivers’ perception of non-driving activities and likelihood that they will do so. .
While not the first study on the issue, “it adds important data that underscores the crucial role of safeguards such as driver monitoring and attention reminders,” the author said. the study, Alexandra Mueller, at Repairer Driven News.
While there are several legislative efforts underway to mandate driver monitoring technology in new vehicles, non-governmental organizations have also taken action. The IIHS announced in January that it was developing a new assessment program to assess the safeguards used to ensure drivers of semi-autonomous vehicles are paying attention to the road. In February, Consumer Reports began awarding extra points to models that combine limited self-driving technologies with effective active driver monitoring systems.
GM, in its announcement, said it “is focused on testing, validating and improving our ADAS technologies to provide our customers with advanced features and systems.”
With Super Cruise, drivers are monitored by infrared cameras to ensure they continue to monitor the roadway while the system is active, as they can be prompted to take back control at any time.
Featured image: Super Cruise in operation on a 2023 Chevrolet Tahoe. (Supplied by Chevrolet)
A map of the routes enabled by Super Cruise after the expansion. (supplied by GM)