Hands Free, Eyes On: General Motors University Is In Session

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn

hands free eyes on general motors university is in session

Today, General Motors unveiled the beginnings of a new consumer education campaign surrounding advanced driving systems. Titled “Hands Free, Eyes On,” the movement is an effort to ensure consumers and drivers know exactly what their vehicles are and will someday be capable of.

The eventual goal is, of course, zero crashes, so along with implementing advanced driving technologies such as hands-free driving, GM is educating the public about what all of the various active-safety features, from lane-keeping assistance to adaptive cruise control all the way to hands-off driving. The campaign will live on GM.com, as well as a number of social media channels, and will evolve over time as technologies find their way into dealerships.

Of course, GM has been a leader in hands-free driving since the release of Super Cruise in 2017, with over 76,000 Super Cruise-enabled vehicles in the hands (or, really, out of the hands) of consumers since that time. Over 400,000 miles of roads have been opened up to hands-free driving via Super Cruise, up from 250,000 miles a year ago. GM has a goal, according to Andrew Farah, executive director for ADAS for GM, of 95 percent of all driving being hands-off capable, though he notes that among other challenges, roundabouts are particularly tricky for the ‘bots to manage. Call it morning driving through the sound and in and out the valley, but while divided highways have been relatively easy to map, ensuring safe deployment of these autonomous driving features requires plenty of testing, computing technologies, and sensor abilities.

The Hands Free, Eyes On campaign is currently focused on the Super Cruise system available today, where GM reiterates four keys to using the Level Two system:

  • Stay alert
  • Always be ready to take control
  • Focus on the road
  • Enjoy the ride

The driver awareness monitoring sensors, especially, are critical as keeping the driver in the loop at all times will remain a big part of both Super Cruise and the coming Ultra Cruise, which promises a more door-to-door driving experience, including parking and driving on urban roadways. Ultra Cruise will remain what the industry deems a Level Two of vehicle autonomy since the driver is still in control, but over two million miles of roadway between the U.S. and Canada are targeted for Ultra Cruise compatibility when it debuts on the Cadillac CELESTIQ, coming as soon as 2024. 

Level Two systems ensure the driver is still in charge, though Farah reminds us that “some other people aren’t as clear on this point,” a barb likely targeted toward Elon Musk and Tesla. While GM’s spokespeople don’t know of any consumer safety incidents regarding Super Cruise, Farah reminds us that “nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently-talented fool.”

Thus nothing currently at retail is truly autonomous, and likely will not be for some time. That's the primary reason for the education campaign - to remind owners to be vigilant behind the wheel, no matter what advanced driving features the car has.

[Images: GM]

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4 of 21 comments
  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Jul 28, 2023

    GM is now officially part of the conspiracy to take the fun out of driving, anywhere, at any time. When they eliminated separate divisions, they abandoned the driver's car concept, and have put out nothing but badge-engineered dreck ever since.

  • Zerofoo Zerofoo on Jul 31, 2023

    GM - designed by committee for people that care nothing about cars.

    • See 1 previous
    • SPPPP SPPPP on Jul 31, 2023

      But the recent Cadillac sedans actually drive well. The rest of the lineup, and all of the future lineup, well, I can't speak for those.

  • Theflyersfan The two Louisville truck plants are still operating, but not sure for how much longer. I have a couple of friends who work at a manufacturing company in town that makes cooling systems for the trucks built here. And they are on pins and needles wondering if or when they get the call to not go back to work because there are no trucks being made. That's what drives me up the wall with these strikes. The auto workers still get a minimum amount of pay even while striking, but the massive support staff that builds components, staffs temp workers, runs the logistics, etc, ends up with nothing except the bare hope that the state's crippled unemployment system can help them keep afloat. In a city where shipping (UPS central hub and they almost went on strike on August 1) and heavy manufacturing (GE Appliance Park and the Ford plants) keeps tens of thousands of people employed, plus the support companies, any prolonged shutdown is a total disaster for the city as well. UAW members - you're not getting a 38% raise right away. That just doesn't happen. Start a little lower and end this. And then you can fight the good fight against the corner office staff who make millions for being in meetings all day.
  • Dusterdude The "fire them all" is looking a little less unreasonable the longer the union sticks to the totally ridiculous demands ( or maybe the members should fire theit leadership ! )
  • Thehyundaigarage Yes, Canadian market vehicles have had immobilizers mandated by transport Canada since around 2001.In the US market, some key start Toyotas and Nissans still don’t have immobilizers. The US doesn’t mandate immobilizers or daytime running lights, but they mandate TPMS, yet canada mandates both, but couldn’t care less about TPMS. You’d think we’d have universal standards in North America.
  • Alan I think this vehicle is aimed more at the dedicated offroad traveller. It costs around the same a 300 Series, so its quite an investment. It would be a waste to own as a daily driver, unless you want to be seen in a 'wank' vehicle like many Wrangler and Can Hardly Davidson types.The diesel would be the choice for off roading as its quite torquey down low and would return far superior mileage than a petrol vehicle.I would think this is more reliable than the Land Rovers, BMW make good engines. https://www.drive.com.au/reviews/2023-ineos-grenadier-review/
  • Lorenzo I'll go with Stellantis. Last into the folly, first to bail out. Their European business won't fly with the German market being squeezed on electricity. Anybody can see the loss of Russian natural gas and closing their nuclear plants means high cost electricity. They're now buying electrons from French nuclear plants, as are the British after shutting down their coal industry. As for the American market, the American grid isn't in great shape either, but the US has shale oil and natural gas. Stellantis has profits from ICE Ram trucks and Jeeps, and they won't give that up.