Several prominent companies in the automotive industry, including GM, continue to advance the capabilities of self-driving vehicle technology, but for the moment, a fully autonomous self-driving system is currently not commercially available. Now, California is set to ban misleading advertising with regard to self-driving vehicles.
Back in September, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) No. 1398, which prohibits a manufacturer or dealer from “deceptively naming, referring to, or marketing” a semi-autonomous driver assistance feature as fully self-driving. The bill applies to not only the sale of cars, but also feature updates and upgrades. The bill was sponsored by Democratic state senator Lena Gonzalez, and will go into effect on January 1st, 2023.
Semi-autonomous driving systems are considered systems that require human intervention at some point, while fully self-driving systems do not require any human inputs.
For the moment, the new law is directed primarily at Tesla, which offers customers its “Full Self-Driving” feature that still requires a human pilot to take control of the vehicle and does not make the vehicle fully autonomous, as indicated on Tesla’s website. The Tesla feature costs $15,000 as an optional upgrade, or $199 per month.
Meanwhile, GM offers the Super Cruise feature, which is framed as a semi-autonomous driver assist technology that can assume control of a vehicle on select stretches of North American highways. Initially hitting the market with the 2018 Cadillac CT6, the system has since expanded to several GM vehicles, including the Cadillac Escalade, Chevy Bolt EV, Cadillac Lyriq, and GMC Hummer EV, among others.
GM is also currently working on the new GM Ultra Cruise system, which is set to join GM’s lineup of hands-free driver-assist systems as a next-generation feature. Ultra Cruise is expected to provide driver assistance in 95 percent of driving scenarios on two million roads in the U.S. and Canada, covering a total of 3.4 million miles. Ultra Cruise is set to launch in 2023.