GM is rolling out three major upgrades, including automatic lane changing and towing assistance, to its Super Cruise hands-free driver assistance system and making it available in six vehicles, including the all-new 2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup.
While GM’s Super Cruise has steadily improved since its launch in 2017, it has been limited to its luxury brand Cadillac for years. The improvements and additional vehicles mark the automaker’s willingness – and perhaps even willingness – to sell the technology to owners of its Chevrolet and GMC-branded pickup trucks.
When GM launched Super Cruise, it was only available in one Cadillac model – the full-size CT6 sedan – and limited to split highways. That began to change in 2019 when GM announced plans to expand where Super Cruise would be available. Now the system can be activated on more than 200,000 miles of roads in the United States.
And GM plans to expand even further. By 2023, GM plans to bring Super Cruise to 22 vehicles, including the upcoming Cadillac Lyriq and GMC Hummer SUVs.
The company said Friday it is adding automatic lane changes to Super Cruise that work without a prompt from the driver. This feature in the upgraded Super Cruise will be available in the 2022 Cadillac Escalade, Cadillac CT4, Cadillac CT5, Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Hummer EV Pickup, and GMC Sierra. GM has also developed and will launch a new feature that will allow drivers to activate the hands-free assistance system while pulling their boat or RV. This trailer function will only be available in model year 2022 vehicles with a trailer coupling. Finally, GM has improved its in-car navigation to show drivers the highways that Super Cruise can be used on.
Super Cruise uses a combination of lidar map data, high-precision GPS, cameras and radar sensors, and a driver attention system that monitors the person behind the wheel to make sure they are paying attention. Unlike Tesla’s Autopilot driver assistance system, Super Cruise users do not need to have their hands on the wheel. However, you need to keep your eyes straight.
The automatic lane change in Super Cruise still requires the driver to keep an eye on the road. When the system is activated, the driver no longer has to use the turn signal to indicate that he wants to change lanes. Instead, if activated, the system automatically changes lanes after it has warned the driver. The system moves the vehicle to a different lane in order to overtake a slower vehicle.
The automatic lane change initiated by the driver is the default setting when the vehicle is pulling a boat, motor home or trailer.
All of these upgrades are possible thanks to GM’s new digital vehicle platform called VIP or the intelligent vehicle platform, which offers more electrical bandwidth and computing power and allows engineers to expand the capabilities of Super Cruise. Vehicles equipped with this VIP electrical architecture can add Super Cruise features via over-the-air software updates. That means certain 2021 models, particularly the Cadillac Escalade, will receive these new upgrades.
There are a couple of vehicles, namely the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV, that have a different version of Super Cruise because it doesn’t come with the VIP. As a result, the Bolt EUV will not receive these upgrades.