General Motors is adding its highly-acclaimed, hands-free driver assistance system Super Cruise to another vehicle in its lineup. But this time, it's not a Cadillac; it's actually a pickup truck. On Wednesday, the automaker announced that the upcoming 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali will feature the Level 2 Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).
The upcoming Sierra 1500 will join the ranks of the Cadillac CT5, CT4, Escalade, and GMC Hummer EV—all of which are slated to follow in the footsteps of the Cadillac CT6 which already comes with Super Cruise today. In fact, GM has noted earlier this year that as many as seven vehicles will receive the Super Cruise treatment by the end of 2021, and 12 more by 2023 (the Sierra is one of them).
Super Cruise is highly regarded by industry professionals as one of the best Level 2 ADAS on the market. In fact, GM itself claims that Super Cruise is the very first hands-free solution to have emerged in the market, noting that in ideal scenarios vehicles equipped with the feature will make use of onboard vision systems, radars, and LiDAR map data to allow drivers to take their hands off of the steering wheel while cruising on a supported roadway.
Moreover, the Driver Monitoring System (DMS) used by Super Cruise is second to none. Should a driver stop paying attention to the road, Super Cruise will recognize the distraction and prompt the driver to return their attention to the road ahead. There's no orange-in-the-steering-wheel trick that works here.
Interestingly, the automaker notes that the Sierra's deployment of Super Cruise will feature "trailering capability." We're not quite sure what that entails just yet, but by the sounds of it, it should make hauling around trailers a hell of a lot more relaxing on the freeway.
It's not surprising to see GM roll out a top-down approach to launching Super Cruise across its lineup. The Denali is GMC's top-tier trim, and it was no accident to choose the best-selling vehicle in the GMC brand, the Sierra 1500, as one of the first vehicles in the GMC lineup to be equipped with this feature.
This particular segment of automotive technology is fairly new, and Tesla's AutoPilot has long held the spotlight for consumers looking at cars that "drive themselves," though that's technically not what AutoPilot or Super Cruise does—yet. Super Cruise recently ranked as the second-highest recommended partially automated driver assistance system on the market by Consumer Reports, slotted above Tesla's AutoPilot and below Comma AI's OpenPilot.
But the tech is rapidly maturing, and GM will soon have to go up against Ford, one of its largest competitors, which will offer a similar feature in the upcoming Mustang Mach-E and Ford F-150. GM recently announced lane change support as an update to Super Cruise, something that will be installed automatically via an over-the-air update to vehicles equipped with Super Cruise and an active subscription to its services.
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