General Motors Is Taking A Page Out of Tesla’s Playbook, Here’s How
Similar to Tesla, General Motors is honing in on further developing and enhancing its own proprietary self-driving car technology known as Super Cruise.
General Motors, the automotive manufacturer responsible for Cadillac, Buick, GMC, and Chevrolet, is getting heat in the news this week for this feature in its cars. We are in a new age for automotive vehicles, with electric cars expanding interest this year due to hyperinflation, the cost of living crisis, and climate change.
Consumers who buy new cars expect an experience within the car, not just a vehicle to get from A to B. Consumers want convenience with a bit of flair. Along with most other services and products, consumers expect their products to be multifunctional. Just look at the Apple iPhone; it is a mini-computer, phone, and iPod all in one, a one-stop shop.
Enter General Motors. General Motors car designers took a leaf out of super EV manufacturer Tesla when designing their new upgrade of Super Cruise hands-free technology. Tesla, known to be at the forefront of innovation, first released their Autopilot software in 2014, with General Motors following suit in 2017 with its version, Super Cruise.
Both Tesla’s Autopilot and General Motors’ Super Cruise work similarly; these systems provide cruise control and lane-keeping systems, which is a sensor that keeps the car within the same lane on a highway. These features are used to make the driving experience easier and hassle-free.
While it sounds like if both features were on, the vehicle driver would not have anything to do, these systems require a driver that still has their full attention on the road and can take over the control if needed.
This is where the confusion and danger lie with “hands-free” systems. While it gives customers the flair they are after, high percentages of customers are using these systems as “self-driving modes” for their cars like they are in the Jetsons. Some customers even stated they would be happy to let the car drive itself in harsh weather conditions.
It is common for drivers using systems like Super Cruise to be busy with other activities like eating, drinking, or reading a book, which can impede their concentration. Also, drivers that do not have a complete understanding of these systems may not be ready to take control of the vehicle if the need arises.
Even though numerous car manufacturers, like General Motors, that supply these systems have said that their addition does not make any vehicle self-driving, they are still a massive safety hazard for all drivers on the road. General Motors has listened to these concerns and has added a safety feature to its Super Cruise, which will temporarily restrict access to drivers if they deem them inattentive. Let’s hope it’s enough to stop an accident before it happens.
Technology and innovation have accelerated in the last two years, which a range of new technologies across many business sectors being planned and released to the public. While all these steps in innovations show the human race’s capabilities, they also have to be given time to settle and sort out any kinks. The technology available in cars now is something people would have never dreamed of over 50 years ago.
The reality of self-driving cars is probably not as far away as people think, but that day is not today. Today people still need to pay attention when driving any automobile, unfortunately. Deep in Tesla’s design headquarters, they are probably working on a self-driving car with a bed installed within it; now, wouldn’t that be lovely?