When the current generation of Chevrolet and GMC trucks debuted, their interiors were considered a great disappointment, especially the Sierra 1500, which may believed did not go far enough to make the case that GMC is a premium brand.
Fast forward to 2020. GMC kicked off the year by introducing its redesigned Yukon SUV and showing off new Canyon and Terrain AT4 models. The GMC Hummer EV reveal followed, albeit a little later than originally planned. Now, the Hummer EV prototype is preparing to head to northern Michigan for winter weather testing and GMC is getting on with its reveal plans.
The 2021 GMC Yukon Denali debuted earlier this year.
Photo courtesy of GMC
Today the company announced that its 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali will feature Super Cruise driver assistance technology. It is expected that the 2022 model year will also be when the automaker puts its refreshed interior into the model. The picture provided by GMC to promote the announcement appears to showcase both elements (ignore the fact that the simulated image shows that it’s 72 degrees outside while there’s snow on the ground in the background).
Super Cruise debuted in Cadillac models as the country’s first true hands-free driver assistance system. Cadillac and GMC are both under the General Motors umbrella. GM has previously said that the technology would be moving into additional GM vehicles but it appears that the timeline has been made more important by the announcement that Ford is installing its safety and driver assist technology, called Ford Co-Pilot360, in the Mustang Mach-E and F-150, complete with hands-free capability.
Ford’s tech is called Active Drive Assist. It allows for hands-free driving on more than 100,000 miles of divided highways in all 50 U.S. states and Canada. It is an evolution of Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering. The system works to ensure that while the driver can operate the vehicle hands-free, they are paying attention to the road. An infrared driver-facing camera tracks eye gaze and head position. This technology is similar to what Subaru uses as part of its EyeSight safety and driver assistance system.
Super Cruise is available on more than 200,000 miles of compatible roads in the U.S. and Canada. It too utilizes a driver attention system, in addition to LiDAR map data, real-time cameras, sensors, and GPS to operate. If the driver attention system detects the driver has turned their gaze away from the road ahead for too long, the steering wheel light bar will prompt the driver to return their attention to the road.
The surrounds of the steering wheel in the photo GMC provided looks a lot like the interior of the new Yukon, which has been nearly universally praised for its design, appointments, and features. There’s an all-digital instrument cluster, which the Yukon does not offer. There appears to be an infotainment screen and audio system knob on the right side of the steering wheel, which points to the fact that GMC will feature a new screen setup in the 2022 Sierra – no version of the Yukon currently offers this design.
Super Cruise will be available on the Sierra later in the 2022 model year. The truck is expected to go on sale in the third or fourth quarter of 2021.