General Motors’ Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system is evolving to function not only on highways but also on city streets, according to Doug Parks, GM executive vice president of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain.
Parks made the remarks on Tuesday during Citi’s 2020 Car of the Future Symposium and was first reported by CNBC.
The new version, dubbed Ultra Cruise internally, would allow vehicles with the technology to change lanes and function on exit ramps. According to Parks, Ultra Cruise would function in neighborhoods, city streets, and subdivisions.
The technology is not considered Level 4 autonomous driving and would still require human intervention.
Tesla’s Autopilot is considered to be the leader in semi-autonomous driving, and some drivers with the latest version of the software are using the system on city streets.
Unlike Autopilot, Super Cruise drivers don’t need to grip the steering wheel to keep the system operating. Super Cruise uses facial recognition technology to identify whether the driver is paying attention.
At present, Super Cruise only functions on some 200,000 miles of limited-access freeways in the U.S. and Canada that have been mapped with LiDAR technology to assist the onboard system of cameras, radars, and sensors.
No timeframe was mentioned for when the technology would be made available. However, “Enhanced” Super Cruise with automated lane change will be an option on the 2021 Cadillac CT4 and CT5 sedans, as well as the 2021 Escalade when those vehicles become available in the second half of 2020.