DETROIT — Next year, General Motors' hands-free driving technology will expand to its biggest segment: full-size pickups.
The Super Cruise technology so far has been available only on luxury or niche nameplates, such as the Cadillac Escalade and Chevrolet Bolt EUV. Adding it to the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra will greatly expand its reach.
"We really want to democratize this technology," said Phil Brook, vice president of marketing for Buick and GMC. "Once you put it on a Sierra, it will be in every large city, medium-sized town, small town in the United States."
GM's latest version of the driver-assist technology will allow customers to perform more functions hands-free: towing heavy loads and changing lanes.
Next year, the updated version will roll out on the Cadillac Escalade, CT4 and CT5, in addition to the Silverado and Sierra.
Enabling hands-free trailering was essential before offering Super Cruise on pickups, James Bestul, lead automated driving engineer for the GMC Sierra, told Automotive News.
"Since day one … we've been focused on trailering for this application," he said. "We know it's an important feature."
Super Cruise is key to GM's mission of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion. The technology, introduced in 2017, allows customers to drive hands-free on compatible roads but requires drivers to stay engaged throughout the ride.
GM plans to launch the technology on 22 vehicles by 2023. It continues to work on new applications and expanded capability for the technology, said Jeff Miller, assistant chief engineer for Super Cruise.