Why this gorgeous electric car might be easier to drive than a Tesla

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One of Tesla’s competitors, General Motors, announces new features for its Super Cruise autonomous driving system, which it takes advantage of to change its name to Ultra Cruise. If it’s more efficient than Tesla’s Autopilot by some, GM is far less impatient and cautious. Above all, the Ultra Cruise could reach Europe with… a LiDAR.

A few years ago, Tesla’s Autopilot was considered the best semi-autonomous driving system. And for good reason, it was pretty much the only one, even though it’s been offered on the Model S since 2015. Over the years, more and more manufacturers have embarked on developing this technology, including General Motors, which now offers it. Super Cruise today.

a new feature

The latter takes the form of a level 2 drive system, the development of which was made possible in particular thanks to the acquisition by the American group of the company Cruise Automation. Since then, the company has come a long way, so much so that its technology is now one of the most efficient on the market, behind Ford’s BlueCruise and Mercedes’ Drive Pilot.

But the American company does not want to stop there, since it also plans to reach Europe in the coming years. Thus, it announces in a press release a new improvement for its autonomous driving system, with the arrival of the Ultra Cruise. This will mean the arrival of new sensors with respect to the Super Cruise already offered in certain models of the firm in order tooffer a 360 degree view of the car.

This device will then debut in the new Cadillac Celestiq, a large electric sedan that could very well one day be marketed in Europe. So, the manufacturer has the opposite vision of Tesla, who only believes in cameras for autonomous driving. Although the next version of its FSD (full self-driving), which will arrive with Hardware 4, could sign the return of traffic cameras.

As the General Motors press release reminds us, its system is based on the combination of various radars and cameras, as well as a LiDAR sensor. installed behind the windshield. What distinguishes it from the Elon Musk brand, which currently does not use this technology, present in many cars such as the Volvo EX90 and other Nio ET7.

without precipitation

So the Ultra Cruise would allow the car to move without driver intervention in 95% of cases. However, General Motors does not want to go too fast, unlike Elon Musk. In fact, the latter had announced that his autopilot was ” probably better than a human driver, which angered the authorities a few months ago.

GM admits that its system is not yet fully autonomous and foolproof. As Chief Engineer Jason Ditman explains, broadcast by automotive newsthe Ultra Cruise system, which will be launched next year,” will tell the driver to take over in roundabouts and other intersections that require complicated manoeuvres”.

However, he looks optimistic, explaining that the device will evolve over time. He also takes the opportunity to throw a small rant at Tesla, explaining that the Ultra Cruise will be fully operational when offered to customers. It is not, therefore, a question of using them as Elon Musk’s brand does, whose FSD, which we were able to test recently, is still in beta testing in the United States. Unlike Mercedes’ Drive Pilot, Tesla’s FSD is not yet available in Europe.

GM’s Ultra Cruise driving aids will always be considered level 2 semi-autonomous driving. At the moment, only Mercedes offers level 3 with its Drive Pilot in the Calsse S and EQS.

As a reminder, level 3 autonomous driving is already authorized on the Old Continent, up to a speed of 130 km/h. If the Mercedes system is currently limited to 60 km/h, this will change as the manufacturer recently introduced its future MB.OS system that will improve this system. The firm has also partnered with Luminar to equip its cars with even more efficient LiDAR, pending the rise of Level 4 autonomous driving. The latter should not arrive before the end of the decade.

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