12 votes

GM announces Ultra Cruise, enabling true hands-free driving across 95% of driving scenarios

11 comments

  1. [7]
    DaveJarvis
    (edited )
    Link
    WHEN NOT TO USE SUPER CRUISE These are some of the situations when Super Cruise should not be activated: When you’re not on a compatible road separated from opposing traffic During difficult or...

    WHEN NOT TO USE SUPER CRUISE

    These are some of the situations when Super Cruise should not be activated:

    • When you’re not on a compatible road separated from opposing traffic
    • During difficult or uncertain driving conditions
    • When lane markings are poor or visibility is limited
    • In a tunnel or construction zones
    • In slippery or in other adverse conditions, including rain, sleet, fog, ice or snow
    • On a road shoulder or service drive
    • When towing a trailer
    • On a freeway or highway exit lane

    Colour me jaded, but I'm sure some of those scenarios will be lost in translation or people will simply forget some. That's the trouble with hands-free driving: it's synonymous with autopilot and autopilot needs to handle at least 99.9% of scenarios before putting it into the hands of the masses (to avoid fatalities and injuries in those circumstances where hands-free must not be used).

    Also, note they used the word should in the description, which is weaker than must.

    13 votes
    1. [2]
      Akir
      Link Parent
      So basically, you can’t use this anywhere in Southern California. I know this reads like a joke, but you have to take the highways everywhere here and they are constantly under construction. And...
      • When lane markings are poor or visibility is limited
      • In a tunnel or construction zones

      So basically, you can’t use this anywhere in Southern California.

      I know this reads like a joke, but you have to take the highways everywhere here and they are constantly under construction. And if you are planning on traveling through a particularly rural area it is very likely that the roads aren’t very well maintained.

      8 votes
      1. Loire
        Link Parent
        Apparently it can't be used in rain, fog, snow or sleet either? How does this account for 95% of driving conditions?

        Apparently it can't be used in rain, fog, snow or sleet either?

        How does this account for 95% of driving conditions?

        11 votes
    2. [2]
      AugustusFerdinand
      Link Parent
      Can confirm this one, at least in a Tesla (which as far as I can tell doesn't have this warning/restriction). Rented a Tesla to take on a trip to Austin. Decided to try the self driving/auto...

      On a freeway or highway exit lane

      Can confirm this one, at least in a Tesla (which as far as I can tell doesn't have this warning/restriction). Rented a Tesla to take on a trip to Austin. Decided to try the self driving/auto pilot. Was in the slow lane and an onramp came up and once the line separating the onramp to the lane ended, as the onramp lane would merge into the slow lane, the Tesla freaked out and swerved violently between the onramp merging section and the actual slow lane. Along with a few other slow lane issues in my account of the rental last year.

      Continuation about Tesla

      If I got a Tesla, thinking about a Cybertruck but been rethinking it lately, the only thing I'd use is the radar adaptive cruise control as being able to set the cruise and let the car handle bumper to bumper traffic for me is great, Tesla's version will both come to a complete stop and resume driving when traffic starts to move, but Tesla has now started to remove radar completely and is using a pure camera approach in the future. It's inability to stay in one lane or act in a predictable manner with cameras and sensors on autopilot gives me little faith in a pleasant adaptive cruise control experience on cameras alone.

      7 votes
      1. Autoxidation
        Link Parent
        Autopilot is extremely nice if you use it and are aware of the edge cases or problem areas. I've made about a dozen 500+ miles trips now, and Autopilot is amazing for making the driving experience...

        Autopilot is extremely nice if you use it and are aware of the edge cases or problem areas. I've made about a dozen 500+ miles trips now, and Autopilot is amazing for making the driving experience easier. I've had a couple of instances where, if the exit lane just... appears (without a dashed line) from the right lane, the car has to try to make a decision to follow one, and sometimes picks poorly. Any area of construction, like when they shift the lanes, is also a big opportunity for confusion, especially if it's not well marked. I always disable autopilot during construction areas and drive manually.

        2 votes
    3. spit-evil-olive-tips
      Link Parent
      fun clarification, Super Cruise and Ultra Cruise are different. right out of the gate, they've done a really terrible job at naming and marketing this: so...what do I get from "ultra" that I don't...

      WHEN NOT TO USE SUPER CRUISE

      fun clarification, Super Cruise and Ultra Cruise are different. right out of the gate, they've done a really terrible job at naming and marketing this:

      GM’s two hands-free advanced driver-assist systems will coexist in the company’s lineup with Super Cruise available on more mainstream vehicles and Ultra Cruise reserved for premium entries.

      so...what do I get from "ultra" that I don't get from "super"? is it safer? does it let me be hands-free in more scenarios? this seems like a really weird market segmentation line to draw.

      to me, this is the most telling line:

      Do not use a hand-held device.

      your hands are free - to sit in your lap and not do anything else.

      to me at least, this sounds worse than actually driving. I'm supposed to just sit there, hands in my lap and eyes on the road, in case I need to jump in and take over?

      of course, realistically, people will use their phones. and they'll find ways around the "Driver Attention Camera" that's supposedly going to force them to keep their eyes on the road.

      which then provides GM a convenient get-out-of-liability-free card when crashes inevitably happen. driver was supposed to pay attention, they weren't. so it's not GM's fault, the liability for the crash lies only with the owner.

      7 votes
    4. moriarty
      Link Parent
      These sound like a lot more than 95%of driving scenarios

      These sound like a lot more than 95%of driving scenarios

      1 vote
  2. [3]
    DepartedPretzel
    (edited )
    Link
    Actual 100% hands-free driving exists: it’s public transit. Most ironically, hands-free won’t be an option in GM’s home state for half the time, as long as winter is a thing. And I am not looking...

    Actual 100% hands-free driving exists: it’s public transit.

    Most ironically, hands-free won’t be an option in GM’s home state for half the time, as long as winter is a thing.

    And I am not looking forward to having these imperfect hands-free driving systems in the gargantuan pickup trucks and SUVs that every domestic automaker now [exclusively] makes. Judging from @AugustusFerdinand’s experience, I should prepare to get yeeted out of a highway ramp by an Escalade sometime in the future.

    13 votes
    1. [2]
      userexec
      Link Parent
      Seconded on the public transit where it's available and makes sense with scheduling. In bigger cities like Chicago, I found having a car to be mostly an annoyance and just used the L and buses for...

      Seconded on the public transit where it's available and makes sense with scheduling. In bigger cities like Chicago, I found having a car to be mostly an annoyance and just used the L and buses for everything. In my current city (pop. ~250,000), the transit system is as good as I suppose it can be for here. Some trips make sense, others really don't. Trying to get to the community college from my mid-city address results in layovers between buses longer than the entire trip to just drive there. A little over an hour by bus for a drive that takes a little under 20 minutes. Taking the bus both ways is a considerable time investment. I'll always advocate for taking the bus when it makes sense, though, and investing further in our public transit.

      What I am genuinely looking forward to about these hands-free systems is people letting the car figure out its speed and actually hold it. If these gain high enough adoption, it may eliminate my biggest pet peeve about driving: People not knowing the speed limit and just picking a random number every 30 seconds.

      Then again, if they won't even pick a speed and hit their current cruise button on the interstate, I should have no reason to believe they'd ever hit this one. I swear sometimes I wish I could just reach into other people's cars, hit the cruise button, and yank their feet away from the gas pedal for all our sakes.

      4 votes
      1. DepartedPretzel
        Link Parent
        Micromobility could help bridge those gaps. Bus transit is also very challenging in my city but bike and scooter rentals serve as reliable and convenient alternatives. Micromobility doesn’t work...

        Micromobility could help bridge those gaps. Bus transit is also very challenging in my city but bike and scooter rentals serve as reliable and convenient alternatives. Micromobility doesn’t work for all personal abilities and aren’t publicly-owned (yet), but we’ve almost gone car-free for intra-city travel thanks to it.


        I hope that the hands-free driving will at least limit people’s speeds to posted speed limits. Everyone drives aggressively here. I’d be more welcoming to semi-autonomous driving if it gives no other option to its users than to drive at sane speeds.

        2 votes
  3. smeg
    Link
    Still waiting for GM to provide a non-explosive battery for my Bolt.

    Still waiting for GM to provide a non-explosive battery for my Bolt.