Bite-Size Podcast: How GM’s Ultra Cruise Technology Works

General Motors has announced a new driver-assist system called Ultra Cruise. According to GM, the system is designed to enable hands-free driving 95 percent of the time and will eventually be available on every paved road in the U.S. and Canada. Not to be confused with Super Cruise, Ultra Cruise is the next step for GM regarding hands-free driver-assist features, though it is not an outright replacement.

Architecture & Availability

Ultra Cruise is supported by a five-nanometer, scalable compute architecture that is “future-proofed” via the automaker’s Ultifi software and Vehicle Intelligence Platforms. As far as future availability goes, GM said Ultra Cruise is reserved for its more premium vehicles, alluding most likely to models from GMC and Cadillac. Indeed, Cadillac will be the first brand to debut Ultra Crusie in 2023, although GM did not say which exact models will receive the technology first (although the Lyriq EV and Escalade seem like prime candidates).

How It Works

Our editor Carl Anthony explains how Ultra Crusie works in the short podcast above, including what sensor technologies it employs to generate a 360-degree view around the vehicle. “We believe that the combination of different sensors, or sensor fusion, leads to the most robust hands-free driver-assist system for our customers,” explained Doug Parks, GM executive vice president of Global Product Development, Purchasing, and Supply Chain. “It’s been developed completely in-house.”

Ultra Cruise Infographic

Ultra Cruise Infographic