GM Debuts Unique Ultra Cruise Sensor Suite on the Cadillac Celestiq

GM debuts unique Ultra Cruise sensor suite on the Cadillac Celestiq 7 photos
Photo: GM | Edited
Ultra Cruise sensor suiteUltra Cruise sensor suiteCadillac CelestiqCadillac CelestiqCadillac CelestiqCadillac Celestiq
GM's Ultra Cruise has been promised to offer hands-free driving capabilities in 95 percent of driving scenarios. The upgraded safety assist tech will debut on the Cadillac Celestiq with a comprehensive sensor suite enabling a 360-degree view of the vehicle.
GM's self-driving technology has been praised as being among the safest on the market, next to Ford's Blue Cruise. At least that's what a Consumer Reports study concluded after placing Tesla Autopilot in the seventh position. Nevertheless, what CR analyzed was GM's basic driver assist feature, Super Cruise. GM is now working on a more advanced automated driving solution under the Ultra Cruise name. Ultra Cruise aims to offer hands-free driving in 95 percent of the driving scenarios, giving Tesla's Full Self-Driving a run for its money.

GM announced last year at CES that it partnered with Qualcomm for the hardware platform to enable hands-free driving in future vehicles. Qualcomm offers a turn-key solution to provide "door-to-door hands-free driving," and GM integrates it into its own driving computer. Think of Tesla's Hardware 4 Autopilot computer we've dissected earlier, only bulkier, as GM said it's the size of two laptops stacked together. This shows the difference between having a computer designed in-house, with integrated components, and one built with off-the-shelf components.

But we're not here to discuss GM's hardware computer since we've already done that a year ago. Equally important is the sensor suite that collects the data from around the vehicle and feeds it into the computer. This comprises 20 sensors, including cameras, radar, and LiDAR sensors, to offer a 360-degree view of the car. The first vehicle with this sensor suite and the accompanying hardware computer will be the Cadillac Celestiq, planned to start production in December 2023.

The Ultra Cruise sensor suite will feature eight long-range cameras with an 8-MP resolution installed on the front, corners, back, and sides of the car. These cameras detect traffic signs, traffic lights, other vehicles, and pedestrians. The cameras work alongside four short-range radar sensors placed in the car's corners and three 4D long-range radars placed in front and back.

The 4D radars allow for adjusting Adaptive Cruise Control speed and lane change maneuvers at highway speeds. The radars can detect an object's location, direction, and elevation relative to the vehicle's speed. They also help the system determine safe stopping distances.

Finally, the sensor suite comprises a LiDAR sensor installed behind the windshield, offering an accurate three-dimensional view of the scene. LiDAR enables more precise detection of objects and road features, such as vehicles and lane markings, even in inclement weather conditions.

Ultra Cruise system in the Celestiq will also feature a driver attention system to monitor the driver's head and eyes' position in relation to the road to help ensure driver attention. It uses a small infrared camera located at the top of the steering column. Considering that this feature was the highlight of the Super Cruise system, we expect it to work even better with Ultra Cruise.

GM wants the system to provide hands-free driving "across nearly every paved public road in the U.S. and Canada, including city streets, subdivision streets, and rural roads, in addition to highways." The carmaker develops the automated driving software in-house with a team of software engineers from around the world. They were tasked with integrating the software with the automated-driving computer and the sensors.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
Press Release
About the author: Cristian Agatie
Cristian Agatie profile photo

After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories