Cadillac Super Cruise Gets Big Update To Fight Tesla Autopilot

Technology / 7 Comments

The latest Super Cruise update doubles the autonomous usage area.

  • Expanded road map coming later this year, available via OTA updates
  • New additions include Route 66 and the PCH
  • Software still not ready for city streets

Super Cruise is just one of many semi-autonomous driving aids on the market. Tesla might get the lion's share of the recognition (and Feds' attention) for its product, but the rise of GM's Super Cruise has been nothing short of meteoric.

The software offered in vehicles like the Cadillac Escalade is one of our favorite semi-autonomous systems. Every time we've tested the software, we've come away impressed, and now GM has announced that the software will expand its network to cover even more roads.

"GM is all in when it comes to accessible advanced driver assistance technology. We are adding Super Cruise to more vehicles than ever and on more roads for more customers to experience," said Mario Maiorana, Chief Engineer for Super Cruise. "We are pursuing what we believe to be the most comprehensive path to autonomy in the industry with responsible deployment of automated driving technology like Super Cruise at the core of what we do."

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GM says an expanded road map will be available via an over-the-air update starting this year. Currently, Super Cruise works on large swaths of our interstate highway network. As such, it'd be incredibly tedious for anyone to bother listing each one, or at least that's what GM's statement implies. Instead, GM provides a short list of some of the more notable additions in this latest update.

The area includes Route 66, the Pacific Coast Highway, the Overseas Highway, and the Trans-Canada Highway. In addition, GM says that the new expansion will allow Super Cruise to work on several additional national and state routes, including a combination of divided and undivided highways. That alone is noteworthy, as Super Cruise is now creeping closer to being usable in most driving instances.

Given the new update's size and the semi-autonomous market's complexity, we think it is fitting to go over just how Super Cruise does what it does. When the software is engaged, it uses your car's LiDAR map data, cameras, radar, and GPS to keep the vehicle moving.

GM calls that particular combination of sensors "sensor fusion," which creates a sensory field around your Super Cruise-equipped vehicle that'll keep it centered in the lane and moving down its set path. This leaves Tesla's tech with a lot of catching up to do. Ford's Blue Cruise and GM's Super Cruise are now ranked higher than Tesla Autopilot. For GM, the big question is how long the software will take to perform at the city street level.

The company has teased a new Ultra Cruise software, which will arrive on the upcoming Cadillac Celestiq EV. We believe this will enable hands-free driving on local roads, improving the already great Super Cruise.

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