General Motors is set to roll out a major update to its Super Cruise autonomous driving feature next year, and it’ll be available on even more vehicles than before.
Three main upgrades are coming to Super Cruise, including automatic lane changes, towing support, and upgrades to the navigation system to show Super Cruise-enabled roads. They'll be available on six model year 2022 vehicles, including the mighty GMC Hummer EV, and will arrive in the first quarter of 2022.
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Super Cruise launched back in 2017, though it was limited to divided highways at the time. Plus, GM only offered it on the Cadillac CT6 sedan. It wasn’t until 2019 that the automaker started making big improvements to the technology and rolled it out to more cars, the Chevy Bolt EUV among them.
GM is aiming to add the technology (opens in new tab) to 22 vehicles in total by 2023, but the first six to get it will be the 2022 models of the Cadillac Escalade, Cadillac CT4 and CT5, Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra and the Hummer EV. The Cadillac Lyriq EV and the Hummer EV SUV version will be among those getting the upgrade the year after.
Currently, the autonomous tech uses a mixture of LiDAR mapping data, high-precision GPS, cameras and radar sensors to drive around by itself. Right now Super Cruise offers adaptive cruise control, as well as lane change on demand.
Plus, unlike a lot of other autonomous driver assistance systems, it doesn’t require you to keep your hands on the wheel at all times — though you do still need to keep your eyes on the road. It’s a good system, but not quite full driverless autonomy yet.
The upgrade will make the the system more powerful and even easier to use. Automatic lane changes, for instance, will let your car decide when it’s best to switch lanes and overtake other vehicles, rather than waiting for the driver to request it.
Towing support is also going to be a big win for truck owners, letting them sit back and take advantage of Super Cruise’s autonomy while they’re hauling stuff around. Likewise, being able to see Super Cruise-capable roads on the car’s navigation system means drivers will be better able to plan their trip so they can do the least amount of hands-on driving.
The new Super Cruise features will be available as an over-the-air update for drivers with the VIP electrical updates. Sadly, cars that do not use this, like the Bolt EUV, will have to miss out.