It’ll leave the suburbs to Waymo
Back in August, we had the opportunity to test General Motors’ new Super Cruise technology on a Cadillac CT6. As the first SAE Level 3 system to operate at highway speeds, it impressed us with how well the technology worked. In fact, it’s even more impressive than Tesla’s Autopilot. But as GM works to achieve true autonomy, the automaker has ventured away from the highways and into the crowded city of San Francisco.
Reuters reports that in a call with reporters, Kyle Vogt, the head of GM’s Cruise Automation division, said he’s seeing “rapid progress” towards releasing fully self-driving cars. And that’s partly because his team chose to test its vehicles in a congested urban area.
“There’s almost no comparison between driving in an urban environment and a suburban” one, said Vogt. For example, GM’s Cruise vehicles have to deal with double-parked cars nearly 25 times as often as they would in a suburb like Palo Alto where Waymo does much of its testing.
As for when those fully autonomous Cruise cars would be ready for the public, Vogt didn’t say. But Mary Barra, GM’s chief executive officer, recently wrote in a blog post that, “In the coming months, we’ll take the next bold steps in testing our autonomous technology as we lead the way to fully self-driving vehicles without any human driver as a backup.”