General Motors has increased its pace in the race to make the machine chauffeur a reality. GM intends to launch its hands-free driving vehicle in 2023, covering roads of over 2 million miles across the US and Canada, for starters. Obviously, the road coverage will improve with time. The hands-free system has been dubbed as the ultra-cruise system by the automobile giants. The ultra-cruise mode also boasts the capability of driving in over 95% of driving scenarios.
The drawback with the super-cruise was that it had a coverage of only 130,000 miles of roads across the US and Canada and could only perform in the hands-free mode in limited locations. The database was enhanced, but it was still not what was desired. The super-cruise mode was first introduced Super Cruise on the 2018 Cadillac CT6, and back then, it was hailed as an impressive step forward.
With an ambitious outlook given to the ultra-cruise project, GM ensures its customers and followers that the hands-free mode will be used, at launch, on over 2 million miles of roads. Ten times increase to what it already boasts for the super-cruise. The company has also proudly stated that the ultra-cruise would efficiently work on highways and paved rural roads, city streets, and even subdivisions. With time, this coverage is also set to be enhanced to 3.4 million miles of roads across the US and Canada.
Ultra-cruise will be packed with more sensors (radar, cameras, and LiDAR) which will help the vehicle create 3D images of the surroundings. The new and improved features that will come with the ultra-cruise are traffic control device reaction, internal navigation route following, automatic and on-demand lane changing, close object avoidance, and left and right turning. Furthermore, the company will provide its users with updates and improvements via over-the-air updates. In addition, the diagnostic mechanism of the GM will get feedback data and deliver improvements in areas where it deems necessary.
The ultra-cruise hands-free mode is labelled as level 2 instead of level 3 in the infographic. What does this mean? It means that the driver will still not use a handheld device while going hands-free (so we reckon no book reading or napping, either). Instead, the drivers will have to manually take over, pull over, and make mandatory decisions. In a nutshell, the driver will have to be prepared to take over when required, and with this, the new Dynamic Display fixed in the driver’s line of sight will help keep the driver’s attention on the road ahead.
GM will launch Ultra Cruise with its iconic Cadillac family. In addition, GM plans to follow up “Super” and “Ultra” with the “Hyper Cruise” trademark for the rights of which they have already filed.