General Motors (GM) has unveiled its most advanced driver-assistance system to date, called Ultra Cruise.
The US auto giant said this week that the new technology would be present alongside its installed Super Cruise driver-assistance system, with the Super variant being available on its more mainstream vehicles and the Ultra reserved for its premium motors.
GM describes Ultra Cruise as “a brand new, advanced driver-assistance technology and an important next step in the company’s journey to enable its goal of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion,” adding that driver travel will be able to do. Almost every road including city roads, subdivision roads and paved rural roads apart from highways.
The Detroit-headquartered automaker said the new system will eventually allow “hands-free driving in 95% of all driving scenarios … on every paved road in the US and Canada.”
GM Executive Doug Park said Ultra Cruise will provide a “door-to-door hands-free driving experience”, a significant improvement over Super Cruise, which is currently limited to highway driving.
Launching with Cadillac vehicles in 2023, Ultra Cruise will use a combination of cameras, radar and LiDAR, and will be good for more than 2 million miles of roads, with that figure increasing to 3.4 million miles over time.
According to the automaker, the Ultra Cruise will:
– Provide users with information based on their experience with the system through the new dynamic display
– Respond to permanent traffic control devices
– Follow internal navigation routes
– maintain progress; follow the speed limit
– Support automatic and on-demand lane change
– Support left and right hand turning
– Support near object avoidance
– Parking support in residential driveways
Automakers — Tesla, Ford, Audi and BMW — have been investing heavily in recent years in creating advanced driver-assistance systems designed to take the stress out of driving and improve safety. While technology falls short of making vehicles fully autonomous, features are improving all the time, as GM’s latest effort shows.
“The combination of Ultra Cruise for premium offerings and Super Cruise for low-cost products will enable us to offer driver-assistance technology across price points and segments,” Parks said. No word yet on how much buyers will have to pay to add Ultra Cruise to their vehicle, but we’ll be sure to update as soon as we know.