- GM is nearly doubling Super Cruise's network.
- That would take the system's coverage from 200,000 to 400,000 miles.
- GM will offer the update over-the-air to customers with eligible vehicles.
General Motors says it is about to double the miles of roadways on which its hands-free driving assist technology, Super Cruise, can operate. Right now, Super Cruise works on about 200,000 miles of roadways in the U.S. and Canada. GM said it is "doubling the Super Cruise road network," and sometime this year drivers will be able to enjoy more hassle-free driving on about 400,000 miles of road.
For those unfamiliar with Super Cruise, it's GM's advanced hands-free driving technology. In short, the system uses a combination of GPS sensing, a highly precise map, and a network of cameras to essentially control the vehicle without driver intervention. The system only works on roads that GM has had pre-mapped with lidar (light detection and ranging) scans that essentially create a 3D map of a given area. The combination of all this tech allows the car to keep a car in its lane and modulate its speed according to what drivers have set (or by keeping a steady distance to a vehicle ahead). Drivers are still required to pay attention to the road ahead when the system is active, and eye-tracking tech built into the cars helps make sure they aren't distracted.
Until now, Super Cruise has only worked on highways that have been scanned and are separated from oncoming traffic, but the new update is about to change that. The changes that effectively double Super Cruise's overall coverage (and triple it in Canada alone) also allow Super Cruise to be used on roads where opposing traffic isn't physically divided. GM's statement specifically mentions that Super Cruise will now work on the Pacific Coast Highway, a road that divides opposing traffic with double yellow lines and very few physical barriers.
Cars that are built on GM's VIP electrical architecture will all be eligible for the over-the-air update to Super Cruise. As of right now, those cars include Cadillac's Escalade, CT4 and CT5, and new Lyriq; the GMC Hummer EV and the Chevrolet Silverado. The GMC Yukon and the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban are slated to get the new architecture for the 2023 model year, too. GM said the update will be rolled out in 2022, so people who have eligible cars can start looking forward to hands-free (but attentive) motoring on more roads.
Click through the gallery below to get a visual idea of just how vast this expansion of Super Cruise is:
It's estimated that the U.S. alone has nearly 4 million miles of paved roadway, and while GM's Super Cruise still only covers a fraction of that distance, it's certainly a step in the right direction.