GM has a new campaign aimed at encouraging drivers to use its advanced driver assistance technology. GM wants drivers to be more informed about the systems like Super Cruise that will be featured on the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV, so they will be more confident using the high-tech feature. GM is convinced that higher use rates will translate to safer driving. GM features Super Cruise on many of its more expensive lines like Cadillac and GMC, but Super Cruise is also available on Chevrolet’s popular Bolt EV.
“We know that to help achieve our vision of zero crashes, we must increase the adoption of ADAS and proactively highlight the benefits they offer,” said Scott Miller, GM vice president, Software Defined Vehicle and Operating System. “To increase usage, we must help drivers understand how currently available technologies, like Super Cruise, work and the responsibility drivers have when using ADAS features. We want customers to be assured of what we are doing to safely deploy these technologies.”
AAA Survey Finds Drivers Are Leery Of the Technology
Earlier this year, AAA’s annual automated vehicle survey found that attitudes toward fully self-driving vehicles have become increasingly apprehensive. This year there was a major increase in drivers who are afraid, rising to 68% as compared to 55% in 2022. This is a 13% jump from last year’s survey and the biggest increase since 2020.
“We were not expecting such a dramatic decline in trust from previous years,” said Greg Brannon, director of automotive research for AAA. “Although with the number of high-profile crashes that have occurred from over-reliance on current vehicle technologies, this isn’t entirely surprising.”
GM’s New Campaign is Directed at Drivers
The “Hands Free, Eyes On" program is designed to explain the current state of the driver assist programs. It will explain the difference between active safety systems and hands-free features like Super Cruise. GM’s systems all require the driver's constant attention to the road as opposed to fully autonomous driving which does not require driver intervention. With a hands-free enabled vehicle like one equipped with Super Cruise, the driver is responsible for the vehicle's operation. That means their eyes need to be on the road at all times, even when their hands are free.
GM is committed to the safe deployment of current and future advanced driver assistance systems and believes part of this is helping consumers to understand their capabilities and how to properly use them.
GM says its core elements of safe ADA usage include:
- A commitment to testing and validation
- Integrating a comprehensive set of sensor technologies
- Ensuring technologies have driver attention systems
- Keeping our maps updated by monitoring roads and working with the public sector
- Educating consumers and other stakeholders
Currently, Super Cruise allows the driver to be hands-free on 400,000 miles of highways in the U.S and Canada. It does force the driver to keep his or her eyes engaged and watching the road.
GM has a new advanced driving assist technology called Ultra Cruise that will debut on the Cadillac CELESTIQ. Ultra Cruise will add more than 20 sensors around the vehicle to fine-tune the hands-free driving system. The added sensors will give a 360-degree view of the vehicle and its surroundings. Ultra Cruise and the added sensors will allow the driver to be hands-free in 95 percent of all driving situations, but it will still force the driver to keep his or her eyes engaged at all times. The driver will be forced to take over in complicated situations.
Mary Conway is a professional automotive journalist and has decades of experience specializing in automotive news analysis. She covered the Detroit Three for more than twenty years for the ABC affiliate, in Detroit. Her affection for the Motor City comes naturally. Her father ran a gas station while Mary was growing up, in Wisconsin.
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