DETROIT—General Motors is developing a new version of its Super Cruise driver-assist technology that isn't limited to highways, bringing hands-free capability to city centers and neighborhood streets.
The technology, internally called Ultra Cruise, complements the Super Cruise system, which works on more than 200,000 miles of highways in the U.S. and Canada.
"Super Cruise is all highways, all the time and increased capability. The only downside to that is when you get off the highway, you don't have it. Ultra Cruise is trying to take that same capability off the highway," Doug Parks, GM's executive vice president of global product development, purchasing and supply chain, said May 19 during Citi's 2020 Car of the Future Symposium.
Ultra Cruise will cover everyday driving in neighborhoods, cities and subdivisions. Ultra Cruise could position GM to better compete with Tesla's Autopilot system, but like Super Cruise, Ultra Cruise will require an engaged driver at all times, Parks said.
"We're trying to be focused on, how can we give drivers additional capabilities above and beyond the highways at a priceable level? We can't afford to put $100,000 worth of sensors on the vehicle and have people pay for those," he said.
A GM spokeswoman said the company doesn't have specific details or an official name for the next-generation system to announce.