Until now, GM’s Super Cruise has been offered only on Cadillac models, but that is about to change. The semi-autonomous driver assistance system will be available as an option on the 2022 Chevy Bolt EUV when the all-new, all-electric crossover arrives this summer.
This will bring Super Cruise to a whole new customer base, so we thought it would be a good idea to explain its operation in detail.
How It Works
First things first: Super Cruise can be used only on compatible out-of-town roads that are separated from opposing traffic. As of this writing, there are approximately 200,000 miles of such roads in the U.S. and Canada, along with a further 180,000 miles in China. It is not possible to use Super Cruise on city streets, though this feature might show up on the upcoming Ultra Cruise system that’s currently in development.
Super Cruise works in conjunction with the vehicle’s Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) system, which can automatically maintain a driver-selected gap time (not merely distance) from the vehicle ahead. To acquire information about driving conditions which ACC can not provide, Super Cruise uses Global Positioning System (GPS) sensing, GPS-enhanced data, a high-precision map and a network of cameras and sensors. With this information, it can maintain control of the vehicle’s steering and speed.
It is extremely important to understand that Super Cruise does not make the Bolt EUV fully autonomous. In fact, no such vehicle is available as of this writing. To emphasize this, Super Cruise includes a Driver Attention System which provides alerts prompting the driver to pay close attention to the road, and to steer manually when needed.
Engaging Super Cruise
Three simple steps are required to start Super Cruise on the Bolt EUV.
Step 1: press the Adaptive Cruise Control button on the steering wheel. A white symbol will appear on the instrument cluster. This does not mean that the system is ready to go. When it is, the symbol will turn green.
Step 2: center the Bolt EUV in its lane. If all necessary conditions are met (for example, the vehicle is on a compatible road and the driver is paying sufficient attention), the Super Cruise symbol on the instrument cluster will illuminate in white. When it is safe to do so, the driver may now press the Super Cruise button, which is located on the left spoke of the steering wheel.
Step 3: when the Super Cruise symbol and the light bar on the top section of the steering wheel both turn green, the driver’s hands and feet may be removed from the steering wheel and pedals.
The Steering Wheel Light Bar
While Super Cruise is engaged, information is conveyed to the driver primarily by the steering wheel light bar, with back-up from the symbol on the instrument panel and in some cases audible warnings. There are five levels of information, presented here in ascending order of concern.
Solid Green Bar, Solid Green Symbol: Super Cruise is active and steering. As always, the driver should pay attention to the road ahead, and be prepared to operate the steering wheel and pedals if necessary.
Flashing Green Bar, Solid Green Symbol: Super Cruise is active, but the system has detected that the driver is not paying attention to the road ahead and must now do so.
Pulsing Blue Bar, Solid Blue Symbol: Super Cruise is active, but the system has detected that the driver is manually steering the vehicle. To engage Super Cruise, the driver must position the vehicle in the center of the lane, and hold the steering wheel until the green indicators appear (see Steps 2 and 3 in the Engaging Super Cruise section).
Flashing Red Bar, Solid Red Symbol, Beep Sounds: the driver must take control of the vehicle immediately. The vehicle will begin to coast in its lane until the driver takes over the steering.
Flashing Red Bar, Solid Red Symbol, Beep Sounds, Voice Prompt: the driver must take control of the vehicle immediately. The vehicle will steer and gradually brake to a halt in its current lane. If this happens, an OnStar Emergency-Certified advisor will contact the driver to ensure that they are safe and paying attention to the road.
Using Super Cruise Responsibly
It is important to remember at all times that Super Cruise, as fitted to the Bolt EUV, is designed to keep the vehicle in its current lane. The automated lane change feature, which was introduced for the 2021 Cadillac CT4, 2021 Cadillac CT5 and 2021 Cadillac Escalade, is not included in the Bolt EUV.
Furthermore, as stated previously, Super Cruise is not a self-driving system, nor is it a crash avoidance system. It simply makes hands-free driving possible on compatible roads. The driver must always pay attention to the road ahead and be prepared to take control of the vehicle at any time.
To emphasize this point still further, here are the things that Super Cruise does not do, as fitted to the Bolt EUV:
- It does not prevent crashes or warn of possible crashes.
- It does not steer to avoid stopped or slow-moving vehicles, cross-traffic, construction barriers, cones, motorcycles, children, pedestrians or other objects in the road.
- It does not steer in response to vehicles or objects next to your vehicle, including other vehicles attempting to enter your lane.
- It does not respond to traffic lights, stop signs or other traffic control devices.
- It does not respond to crossing or oncoming traffic.
- It does not make turns or change lanes.
- It does not steer to merge onto or to exit highways.
- It does not steer to avoid, or steer through, construction zones.
- It does not function on city streets or in city driving conditions.
Super Cruise will be available as an option on the Chevy Bolt EUV only on the Premier trim level, and not on the base LT. It will not be available at all on the smaller (but mechanically similar) 2022 Chevy Bolt EV, which has undergone a mid-cycle enhancement (MCE) for the new model year. The Bolt EUV will be priced to start at $33,395.