General Motors’ Super Cruise is one of the best driver-assist systems on the market, but its capability is balanced by its greatest limitation: It only works on GM-approved roads. This year, however, the company aims to broaden its horizons — by doubling the size of the Super Cruise map.
Currently, Super Cruise can only be enabled on “mapped divided highways” — interstates where oncoming traffic, barring Bat Family involvement, isn’t a concern. This careful geofencing allows GM a bit more leniency with the software, such as the eye-tracking, hands-free mode for which Super Cruise is famous. After all, who needs hands on the wheel when the car can only run in ideal conditions?
Now, however, GM is putting a bit more slack into Super Cruise’s leash. By the end of this year, the company intends to double the road mileage on which the software can operate, from 200,000 miles up to 400,000. To get that extra range, GM will ease up on its road structure conditions — for the first time, Super Cruise will have to routinely deal with oncoming traffic.
With that new struggle, however, comes a wealth of new roads to cruise down. GM specifically called out a few routes that would be added by the end of the year:
- U.S. Route 66
- The Pacific Coast Highway
- U.S. Route 1
- The Trans-Canada Highway
The company specified that these roads would have “large sections coming online,” so don’t expect to be able to drive the length of PCH without ever touching the wheel — it’ll likely be some time before these roads are mapped in their entirety. Still, it’s a promising addition to the software’s repertoire, and one more big step on the road to automated transit.