Ultra Cruise already delayed beyond GM’s expectations
Report follows collapse of Cruise autonomous driving division
General Motors could be getting rid of Ultra Cruise before it even goes on sale. A new report suggests that it will be ending and the automaker will focus on the current Super Cruise instead of the higher capabilities of the proposed system.
CNBC reports that two sources familiar with the Ultra Cruise system have told it that the program is ending. Ultra Cruise was first announced in 2021 when GM said that it would “enable hands-free driving in 95 percent of all driving scenarios” and be able to cover “every paved road in the U.S. and Canada.”
“Ultra Cruise is not just a game changer in terms of what it enables − a door-to-door hands-free driving experience − but a technological one as well,” GM executive vice president of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain Doug Parks said at the announcement.
It was intended to launch on premium models, keeping the less capable Super Cruise on lower-cost vehicles. The system would use cameras, radar, and LiDAR sensors.
Ultra Cruise was set to launch on a Cadillac vehicle in 2023, but as yet hasn’t been confirmed for any model. Super Cruise, GM’s existing hands-off driver assistance system, is still only available on limited models and trim grades after launching in 2017.
It’s not clear if GM is simply dropping the Ultra Cruise name in favour of one simplified product line, or if this represents a major change in GM’s forecast autonomous driving capabilities. After GM’s Cruise autonomous driving development company grounded its test fleet last October – the company has since laid off 24 percent of its workforce – the latter seems more likely.