General Motors Teases Ultra Cruise Technology During Conference Call

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【Summary】In an earnings call at the beginning of the month, General Motors’ CEO Mary Barra confirmed that Ultra Cruise would have more capability than the automaker’s current Super Cruise system.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Aug 10, 2019 4:00 PM PT
General Motors Teases Ultra Cruise Technology During Conference Call

Many automakers have semi-autonomous systems on their vehicles that make some of the more mundane aspects of driving more enjoyable. One of the better systems on the road is General Motors' Super Cruise. Super Cruise was introduced back in 2017 for the 2018 Cadillac CT6, which continues to be the only vehicle in the automaker's lineup to have the system as an option. While that's going to change in the near future, so will GM's autonomous systems.

Is Ultra Cruise Coming?
According to The Verge, GM's CEO Mary Barra confirmed the existence of Ultra Cruise. During an earnings call at the beginning of the month, Citi Research's Italy Michaeli asked Barra about Super Cruise and then followed up with a question on whether the automaker "might go to market with the next-generation Ultra Cruise system?"
Barra's response wasn't very informative, but did confirm that Ultra Cruise would have more performance than Super Cruise. "As you mentioned with Ultra Cruise, this is a technology you saw us continue to improve it with the number of places you can use it. We're going to continue to add capability. And we're very excited about it and the road map that we have. So we'll be rolling it out as quickly as we can, with again having a strong focus on safety."
Right away, there's a chance that Barra may have Ultra Cruise mixed up with Super Cruise. The only time we've heard of Ultra Cruise is from a trademark the company filed last year. The company never stated what the system was or anything about it, but Super Cruise being the brand's semi-autonomous features, it makes sense for it to be a more robust version.

What Cadillac Needs To Do With Super Cruise
GM has been working on making Super Cruise better. Recently, Cadillac increased the number of miles the system can work on by adding 70,000 extra miles . The increase in miles is part of a larger plan to have Super Cruise operational on a total of 200,000 miles between the U.S. and Canada. Before that, GM was in the middle of refining Super Cruise to fix some of the issues users have had with it. An "over-the-air re-flash" is currently in the pipeline for the 2020 CT6.
So, we know GM is planning to come out with a more advanced version of Super Cruise in the near future. It's possible that GM could ditch the "Super Cruise" name for "Ultra Cruise" or offer both – one being standard and the other being optional for full autonomous capability. There are a lot of things General Motors could do, but one thing it must do, whether it's with Super Cruise or Ultra Cruise, is to increase the number of vehicles with the system.
The largest issue with Super Cruise is that it's only available on the CT6. Cadillac has stated that it will increase availability to more models, but hasn't done so yet.
Only time will tell if Ultra Cruise is a real thing that GM will offer on its vehicles and what it truly is. But Barra did confirm its existence.

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