Tesla has been in hot water for a while now for shenanigans pulled by owners abusing the automaker’s advanced cruise control functions. While the company’s Full Self Driving (FSD) tech isn’t quite ready for primetime, other automakers are catching up – quickly. Today, General Motors announced Ultra Cruise, its advanced driver assistance tech that promises to allow hands-free driving in 95 percent of driving scenarios.
Ultra Cruise will build on Super Cruise functionality.General Motors
GM notes that its goal is to eventually roll the service out to all paved roads in the U.S. and Canada. When it launches, the service will work on over two million miles of roads, which could nearly double as the program expands.
Ultra Cruise will offer a host of automated driving features that build on Super Cruise:
- Dynamic display system
- Ability to react to permanent traffic control devices
- Follow internal navigation routes
- Maintain headway and follow speed limits
- Support automatic, on-demand lane changes
- Support left and right turns
- Support close object avoidance
- Support parking in residential driveways
The system uses LiDAR, radar, and cameras to build a 360-degree, three-dimensional picture of the world around it. An additional LiDAR unit is located behind the windshield. GM notes that a big part of the system is its Human Machine Interface (HMI), which communicates with the driver to alert them when they need to take control. Ultra Cruise-equipped vehicles will do this with a head-up display that helps drivers stay focused on the road, and will use the same driver monitoring cameras that are used in Super Cruise.
Ultra Cruise will enable hands-free driving in the majority of driving scenarios.General Motors
Ultra Cruise will first be available in Cadillac vehicles starting from 2023. There’s no word on pricing or specific vehicle availability at this time.