General Motors’ upcoming self-driving technology, Ultra Cruise, is set to usher in a new era of autonomous driving, and is slated to enable hands-free convenience for more than 95 percent of scenarios. Now, it appears as though Ultra Cruise will use more than 20 sensors to facilitate this self-driving experience.
In order to achieve the 360-degree viewing required for Ultra Cruise to function properly, a bevy of cameras and technologies work in tandem to each other:
- Driver Attention System
- Located on top of the steering column, this tiny camera uses infrared light to monitor the driver’s head position and line-of-sight.
- Compute System
- As the physical hardware that runs Ultra Cruise, this system is powered by a scalable compute architecture featuring system-on-chips (SoCs), and was developed by American semiconductor company Qualcomm Technologies.
- Long-Range Cameras
- Seven, eight-megapixel cameras are located on the front, corners, sides and rear of the vehicle and provide expanded fields of view that enable Ultra Cruise to detect objects like traffic signs, traffic lights, other vehicles and pedestrians.
- Short-Range Radars
- Four radars are individually placed at all four corners of the vehicle, and provide a radius of up to 90 meters.
- Long-Range Radars
- Three 4D radars are positioned on the front and rear of the vehicle and allow Adaptive Cruise Control to function properly, as well as enable lane change maneuvers at highway speeds by detecting an object’s location, direction and elevation relative to the speed of the vehicle. Additionally, these radars help determine safe stopping distances.
- Located behind the windshield, this technology produced a 3D view of the surrounding area, enabling more precise detection of objects and road features, even in inclement weather conditions. When combined with other sensors, LiDAR creates a potent “picture” of the surrounding environment for Ultra Cruise.
“GM’s fundamental strategy for all ADAS features, including Ultra Cruise, is safely deploying these technologies,” said GM chief engineer of Ultra Cruise Jason Ditman. “A deep knowledge of what Ultra Cruise is capable of, along with the detailed picture provided by its sensors, will help us understand when Ultra Cruise can be engaged and when to hand control back to the driver. We believe consistent, clear operation can help build drivers’ confidence in Ultra Cruise.”