Starting in the first quarter of 2022, General Motors (GM) will introduce new features to its Super Cruise hands-free driver-assistance technology. The new technologies will be available on six model lines during the 2022 model year.
The new capabilities are:
• Trailering: Drivers can tow a trailer while driving hands-free.
• Automatic lane change: The vehicle can identify when a lane change is appropriate and begin the maneuver, including signaling.
• Enhanced navigation display: Compatible roads will appear in the in-vehicle navigation display to indicate which routes can be driven hands-free.
Launched in 2017 on the 2018 Cadillac CT6, GM Super Cruise enables partial hands-free driving, with a few caveats:
1. The advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) is available only on compatible roads.
2. An in-vehicle camera must ensure that the driver pays attention to the road for the system to operate.
3. The road's lane markings must be visible.
Poor weather, inadequate lane divisions, and even glare can limit the system's functionality.
According to GM, there are up to 200,000 miles of Super Cruise-compatible roads in the United States and Canada.
The six models that will receive the new Super Cruise features for 2022 are:
• 2022 Cadillac Escalade
• 2022 Cadillac CT4
• 2022 Cadillac CT5
• 2022 Chevrolet Silverado
• 2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup
• 2022 GMC Sierra
Select model-year 2021 GM vehicle owners can also access Super Cruise's latest enhancements using over-the-air updates.
According to Super Cruise chief engineer Mario Maiorana, the move brings GM one step closer to autonomous vehicles. "The additional Super Cruise-enabled vehicles and new features are an important step toward our goal of enabling hands-free driving 95 percent of the time and getting people more comfortable with letting go of the wheel," Maiorana said.
By 2023, GM expects to offer Super Cruise on 22 models, including the GMC Hummer EV SUV and the Cadillac Lyriq.
Though no automaker currently offers a fully self-driving vehicle, a handful are enabling hands-free driving. Tesla's Autopilot system provided a "full self-driving" update last fall. However, according to the company's website, that system does require "active supervision." Ford's Blue Cruise is expected later this year on select F-150 and Mach-E models, and Volvo plans to introduce hands-free driving on its upcoming flagship SUV in 2022.