Spending a week with the Chevrolet Bolt EUV was a revelation and that’s not due to the affordable starting price. Oh no. It’s because of its semi-autonomous driver assistance technologies. Super Cruise stands above everyone else. How? It’s trustworthy and it keeps the driver in the picture.
How Does It Work?
General Motors’ Super Cruise uses an array of radar sensors, cameras, and other components used to see vehicles, living things, road markings, and objects. Additionally, a camera mounted on top of the steering column keeps an eye on the driver to ensure they’re paying attention to the road ahead. It then makes use of several individual driver assistance systems including adaptive cruise control, lane centering, steering assist, and traffic jam assist.
The driver activates the system via a button on the steering wheel. However, you need to turn on adaptive cruise control first before Super Cruise. Once engaged, the light on the steering wheel turns green, enabling you to drive hands-free. Additionally, a green steering wheel icon appears on the 8.0-inch digital gauge cluster. In addition to icons and warning sounds, the car communicates with you via the lights on the steering wheel. If it’s flashing red, it needs you to take over driving duties. Additionally, the car beeps at you and puts out a warning message on the digital gauge cluster. Blue pulsing lights, on the other hand, indicate you’re doing something like a lane change or evasive maneuver. On certain GM vehicles, Super Cruise includes automatic lane changing, giving them a higher level of autonomy.
YOU Remain in Control
In action, Super Cruise does a fantastic job keeping your set distance and following traffic flow even in gridlock. The system also does a fantastic job taking turns even at high speeds. However, the version in the Bolt EUV doesn’t seem to detect turns ahead of time. That means it won’t slow down as much as similar systems found in Hyundai, Kia, Toyota, and Nissan vehicles. Where Super Cruise takes the cake is in accuracy. Yes, it’s a little conservative but the tradeoff there is smoother operation, especially in traffic. You rarely get jolted by sudden braking because the car detects slower cars ahead sooner.
Quite possibly the most important component is the driver. Unlike a certain American startup, General Motors’ semi-autonomous driver assistance technology works as advertised. It doesn’t pretend that it enables autonomous driving. Despite not having your hands on the steering wheel, the driver remains in the picture. You need to stay ready to take over driving duties whenever the car requires you to. Additionally, predicting when to take control is a cinch because the system makes it clear which situations require the driver’s input.
Which Cars Have Super Cruise?
General Motors offers its Super Cruise in several vehicles. The least expensive one is the Chevrolet Bolt EUV, which requires you to opt for the Premier trim and choose an optional package. The Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 recently got the system too. Like the version found in the Cadillac Escalade and Lyriq and GMC Hummer EV, the two trucks get an enhanced iteration with automatic lane changing.
In the future, General Motors aims to spread the system to more vehicles. These include the upcoming Chevrolet Equinox EV and Blazer EV, both of which share the Ultium suite with the Silverado EV. The Buick lineup’s upcoming range of Ultium-based battery-electric vehicles will also get Super Cruise. Finally, the Cadillac Celestiq gets the next upgrade to the system. Called Ultra Cruise, it adds extra capabilities including navigating to your destination, reacting to traffic lights, making left or right turns, and self-parking.