It would seem the engineers at GM have been busy doing their sums. Super Cruise, their take on hands-free driver assistance technology, is set to double its reach. At present, SC will only work on certain divided highways and interstates around the nation. After this update, which is scheduled for later this calendar year, it’ll be functional on hundreds of thousands of additional miles of roads in the U.S. and Canada – including a combination of undivided and divided highway infrastructure.
For those unfamiliar, Super Cruise can correctly be described as a hands-free driver assistance technology that permits attentive drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel to let the vehicle handle acceleration and lane changes. At present, it is found on snazzy variants of GM’s burly SUVs and half-ton trucks like the GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate. This expansion of Super Cruise will enable the feature to work on many additional state and federal routes, notably including sections of Route 66 and the Pacific Coast Highway.
It’ll be interesting to see how the system deals with traffic on non-divided highways since that type of infrastructure is vastly more predictable since all vehicles in the vicinity are headed in the same direction. Or at least they’re supposed to, assuming all is well. That’s why the driver needs to pay attention and not climb into the backseat for a nap, right? An infrared camera atop the vehicle’s steering column keeps tabs on the driver’s eyes to make sure that doesn’t happen, by the way.
Your author wants to get something clear: GM’s Super Cruise is far better than Tesla’s so-called Full Self Driving (which is a horribly inaccurate name). This statement will surely rankle Teslarati lurking in the comment section but it’s absolutely true. In my experience, Super Cruise accurately reads lane markings, even ones I assumed would be too faint to be of any useful function. Vibrating the driver’s seat prior to an automatic lane change is a tremendous use of existing GM technologies, for example.
Juxtapose this to my experience of FSD’s tendency to blindly follow a highway lane’s righthand marking, a trait which caused my Turo-sourced tester – more than once – to try and zoom up an exit ramp instead of following the intended straight-ahead route. I will admit FSD’s Summon feature is a tremendous party trick. But on the interstate, Super Cruise is smoother, communicates better with the driver, and is more confidence-inspiring. Unless you’ve driven both systems – as I have, at length with hundreds of miles behind the wheel of each – don’t @ me, bro.
The expansion will be available later this year and delivered at no additional charge via over-the-air updates on Super Cruise-equipped models.
Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.