The GM Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system is crucial technology for the automaker. Not only is it the first true hands-free driver assist system for the highway, but it’s also critical to the respective images of Cadillac and General Motors. And now, it looks as though GM is working on a batch of updates that could propel it to the next level of autonomy, as exclusively reported by our sister publication, Cadillac Society.
Evidence that a new, next-level GM Super Cruise system is in the works can be traced back to a pair of Cadillac CT6 sedans recently spotted in the Metro Detroit area. According to the recent report from Cadillac Society, both prototypes were seen with their respective drivers fast asleep in the driver’s seat, and both had their hands off the wheel and their eyes shut; one even had his mouth hanging wide open in what we can only imagine is deep REM-cycle sleep.
Despite the dozing pilots, the pair of CT6 prototypes managed to exit the interstate on their own volition. The cars had no visible external hardware differences compared to the current version of the large sedan. In fact, both were pre-facelift CT6 models with manufacturer plates.
The current iteration of GM Super Cruise is considered to be a Level 2 system, wherein the onboard software takes full control of the vehicle’s throttle, brakes and steering, but still requires the driver to pay attention and take control in certain situations. Super Cruise has a sensor that tracks whether the driver is paying attention to the road ahead. A sleeping driver would disengage the system in its current implementation, which is what makes these sightings so interesting.
We previously reported on rumors of a next-level GM Super Cruise system back in September, when GM filed a trademark for “Ultra Cruise”. The application referenced “computer software, cameras, ultrasonic sensors, global positioning system and radar object detectors for the semi-autonomous driving of motor vehicles.”
By all accounts, a Level 3 GM Super Cruise certainly seems to be on its way, and it could be called Ultra Cruise.
More recently, GM Super Cruise got a substantial 70,000-mile upgrade, which made upwards of 200,000 miles of roads across North America available for use with the semi-autonomous system. While the system is only available with the current Cadillac CT6, it will roll out across the rest of the Cadillac portfolio, starting with the CT5 and CT4 sedans, in the near future.
Source: Cadillac Society