I’m not too sure I want a $GM on Super Cruise - or Ultra Cruise - coming at me on an undivided state highway in rural Virginia or Florida. I sure hope the best for $GM on this endeavor, but I also hope this has been tested over and over to a point where the test cars never drift into a line of traffic from the other way, or aim themselves at first responder vehicles parked on the shoulder of a state road. Prove my skepticism wrong, $GM.
Engadget headline: GM is doubling the size of its Super Cruise network in the US and Canada
Sub-headline: Take a hands-free trip through Route 66.
Since introducing its Super Cruise advanced driver assistance suite in the Cadillac CT6 back in 2017, General Motors has worked steadily to expand the number of lidar-mapped roads that the system can handle hands-free. The SuperCruise Network first expanded from 130,000 to 200,000 miles of divided highways in 2019, and will soon double in size — to 400,000 miles across the US and Canada — by the end of the year, GM announced on Wednesday.
The Super Cruise system — and its successor, Ultra Cruise — relies on a mix of high-fidelity LiDAR maps, GPS, and onboard visual and radar sensors to know where the vehicle is on the road. So far, those maps, which dictate where features like Hands-Free Driving can operate, have only included major, divided highways like interstates with the big median barriers. Smaller, undivided public highways — aka State Routes — were not included, in part because of the added ADAS challenges presented by oncoming traffic, until now.
“This expansion will enable Super Cruise to work on some additional divided highways, but the big news is this the bulk of the expansion will allow Super Cruise to operate on non-divided highways,” David Craig, GM’s Chief of Maps, said during Tuesday’s call. “These non-divided highways are typically the state and federal highways… that connect the smaller cities and townships across the US and Canada.”