General Motors (GM) has reportedly decided to end its Ultra Cruise project after initial expectations of launching the system in the US last year were not met. While no direct comment was made about this decision, a GM executive mentioned that the company is focused on expanding the accessibility and capabilities of its Super Cruise advanced driver assistance technology. However, GM has not responded to requests for further comment.
It is important to note that Ultra Cruise should not be confused with GM’s Super Cruise system, as they serve different purposes. Ultra Cruise was intended for premium vehicles and was designed to offer hands-free driving and a wider range of applications for the advanced driver assistance system (ADAS). Ultimately, it was expected to enable autonomous driving in 95% of cases. The system utilized a combination of long-range cameras and short-range sensors, along with greater computing power compared to Super Cruise. Furthermore, Ultra Cruise boasted the usage of real-time data to control the vehicle, which led to comparisons with Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta.
According to the original announcement, Ultra Cruise was planned to be available on over 2 million miles of roads in the United States and Canada, with the potential to expand to over 3.4 million miles. During a recent Automotive Press Association event, GM CEO Mary Barra expressed the company’s commitment to resolve issues within its subsidiary, Cruise.
The decision to end the Ultra Cruise project indicates a shift in GM’s focus towards improving and deploying Super Cruise technology across its brands and a wider range of vehicle categories.