General Motors announces Ultra Cruise autonomous driving technology

The technology – which allows autonomy in “95 percent” of scenarios – will be launched in 2023.

William Davis

Above: 2021 Cadillac Escalade interior.

US car giant General Motors has announced plans to roll out a brand new semi-autonomous driving system in 2023, called the ‘Ultra Cruise’.

While the conglomerate’s existing ‘Super Cruise’ driver assistance technology – currently an option in select Cadillac, GMC and Chevrolet models – offers roadway and radar cruise control, GM claims that its new system will offer almost complete autonomy under certain conditions.

“[It will] enable hands-free driving in 95 percent of all driving scenarios, ”GM said in an official statement. “Customers will be able to travel hands-free with Ultra Cruise across almost all roads, including city streets, sub-streets and paved rural areas, in addition to highways.”

The technology – which is a competitor to Tesla’s camera – only ‘Full Self-Driving’ (FSD) – uses radar, lidar sensors and cameras to create a 3D map of a vehicle’s surroundings and make decisions accordingly.

“We believe the combination of different sensors — or sensor fusion — leads to the most robust hands-free driver assistance system for our customers,” said Doug Parks, GM Executive Vice President of Global Product Development.

Ultra Cruise is scheduled to be launched in 2023 via the car giant’s flagship Cadillac marque. A timeline for rollout across the broader group has yet to be confirmed.

William Davis

William Davis has been writing for Drive since July 2020 and covers news and current affairs in the automotive industry. He has maintained a primary focus on industry trends, autonomous technology, electric vehicle regulations and local environmental policy. As the latest addition to the Drive team, William was brought on board for his attention to detail, writing skills and strong work ethic. Despite writing for a wide range of businesses – including the Australian Financial Review, Robb Report and Property Observer – since graduating from Macquarie University, William has always had a passion for cars.

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