GM may be popular for Super Cruise, but it is debuting another system later this year. It has announced that its Ultra Cruise offering will come with the high-end Cadillac Celestiq EV in 2023. GM said the system would be available on two million miles of roads in North America.
In comparison, drivers can only use Super Cruise on 400,000 miles of highways in the US and Canada. It uses a combination of LiDAR, radar, GPS, and cameras to identify its location and control the car.
Ultra Cruise is an upgrade featuring a newer computing unit that combines data from the surroundings into a 360-degree view of the car. GM’s chief Engineer Jason Dittman said the system also has an interior-facing infrared camera that monitors the driver’s attention by tracking their head and eyes in relation to the road.
GM plans to add miles of roads to the coverage area, eventually including 3.4 million miles. This should cover “nearly every paved road, city street, suburban street, subdivision, and rural road in addition to the highways that today the Super Cruise operates on,” according to Dittman.
Meanwhile, Ultra Cruise is still a Level 2 ADAS despite the extensive range. It means drivers still need to pay attention to the road and always hold the steering wheel.
Because of the additional hardware requirements, cars equipped with Super Cruise will not be able to upgrade to Ultra Cruise. This means testing Ultra Cruise could cost you up to the $300,000 GM is charging for the Celestiq.
GM users in the Middle East must wait until next year to use Super Cruise.