The impressive – but location-limited – Super Cruise driving technology has seen a massive boost in its usability

Automotive giant, General Motors, has announced the environmental road network required for its Super Cruise driver assistance technology has doubled in size across the US and Canada.

The latest iteration of the Super Cruise technology has set itself apart from other ‘Level 2’ driver assistance systems by allowing the driver to take their hands off the steering wheel for effectively an indefinite period when the system is engaged, as long as its conditions are met.

general motors doubles super cruise driving network in the us

Cadillac has updated the road network available on its Super Cruise system

However, a key condition of Super Cruise is that it’s only designed to fully function on select stretches of fit-for-purpose roads, a hindrance which has now been lessened with the addition of classic routes across the US and Canada, such as Route 66, Trans-Canada Highway and the Overseas Highway in Florida.

Prior, the Super Cruise network consisted solely of divided highways, whereas the latest update brings the total database to almost 650,000 kilometres, some of it including undivided highways.

Suburban and city routes are still yet to be added to its arsenal, though GM has previously said it is developing an ‘Ultra Cruise’ technology that would enable this functionality.

Escalade, Hummer EV in line for the update

GM has said it will update Super Cruise-equipped vehicles using its VIP electrical architecture via over-the-air updates later this year.

general motors doubles super cruise driving network in the us

The GMC Hummer EV is one of the vehicles inline for the update

This includes older models such as the CT5 sedan, along with the GMC Hummer EV ute and SUV, Cadillac Escalade full-size SUV and the fully-electric Cadillac Lyriq SUV.

None of these models are currently available in Australia, though they could make an appearance via local distributor GMSV, which has seen considerable success importing GM models such as the Chevrolet Silverado pick-up, converting them to right-hand drive and selling them locally.

But even if it was to do so, Super Cruise would still be unable to function fully in Australia without the local road network being scanned and added to the car’s onboard network.

general motors doubles super cruise driving network in the us

It’s unlikely we’ll see Super Cruise in Australia any time soon

Why is Super Cruise so special?

GM’s Super Cruise is a Level 2 driving automation system – similar to Tesla’s Autopilot – that uses lidar (laser scan) map data, real-time cameras, radars and GPS to travel along the road.

The system is capable of acceleration, braking, holding the vehicle steady in its lane and even overtaking when it detects a slow-moving vehicle in its current lane.

Super Cruise separates itself from a traditional adaptive cruise control system by offering drivers the ability to take their hands off the wheel indefinitely on scanned roads. This is however, on the condition that drivers keep their eyes on the road, a factor monitoring by a tracking camera in the car.

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