General Motors’ “hands-free” advanced driver assistance system (ADAS), Super Cruise, will soon be available on more roads in North America. GM announced today that later this year the ADAS system will be able to operate on 400,000 miles of roadways, including non-segregated highways, essentially doubling Super Cruise’s current coverage in the U.S. and Canada.
It represents a major expansion of Super Cruise’s capabilities at a time when U.S. regulators are scrutinizing driver-assist features more closely and safety advocates are calling for greater transparency, citing studies that show how new technologies can inadvertently create safety risks.
Introduced in 2017 on the Cadillac CT6, Super Cruise uses information from cameras and radar sensors embedded in the car, GPS data and LIDAR mapping data collected by the company to enable hands-free driving and, in some cases, automatic lane changes. It pairs this feature with a driver monitoring system that uses an infrared camera to ensure the driver is paying attention to the road in case Super Cruise needs to hand control back to the driver.
Unlike Tesla’s Autopilot system, which can be activated on virtually any highway or road where the system finds visible lane markings, drivers can currently only use Super Cruise on divided highways that have been laser mapped and approved for use by General Motors. So far, this has only included 200,000 miles of limited-access highways that have concrete barriers separating opposite lanes.
But starting later this year, drivers of vehicles such as the Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Hummer EV or Cadillac Lyriq will be able to use Super Cruise on undivided state and federal highways that connect major roads in small cities and towns. These include the famous U.S. Route 66, which runs from Chicago to Los Angeles; the Pacific Coast Highway, which follows the California coastline; the Overseas Highway, which connects Miami to the Florida Keys; and the Trans-Canada Highway, which traverses the country from east to west.