General Motors is racing to electrify its broad range of vehicles in a joint bid to surpass Tesla as No. #1 EV seller in the world. But it also competes with Tesla on another front: autonomous vehicles.
On that front, GM feels like it has an advantage. Super Cruise, the hands-free advanced driver assistance system, double the coverage to 400,000 miles highways and routes later this year. Next year, the automaker will announce the next iteration, Ultra CruiseGM said it will cover “95 percent” of driving duties. And the robotaxis division, Cruise, is currently picking up and disembarking passengers As part of the city’s first truly commercial autonomous driving service in San Francisco.
But right now, public perceptions of AVs and driver-assist technology are not very good. People see headlines on the subject. Last tesla accidentor they remember the woman who was. Killed by a self-driving Uber vehicle in 2017and they conclude that autonomous vehicles are too dangerous for public use.
This could hurt GM’s efforts to put more autonomous and partially automated vehicles on the road. The company relies on an educational campaign in addition to media stories to help consumers understand the differences between a Super Cruise-equipped Chevy pickup truck and a Chevy pickup truck, for example. fully autonomous Cruise OriginIt will be on its way as soon as next year.
GM President Mark Reuss Posted a piece on LinkedIn Today, it outlines the automaker’s approach to safety, both in relation to advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) such as Super Cruise and Ultra Cruise, and fully autonomous projects such as Cruise. It also revealed a few new details about the technology that will make up the Ultra Cruise system, such as a lidar sensor “behind the windshield” and a new smartphone app that can be viewed from inside the parked vehicle and will offer information such as driver stats, trips and history to the user.
“You may have read some recent headlines that might make you question the readiness of these technologies,” Reuss writes. recent Pew Research Center survey This shows that only 26 percent of Americans believe autonomous vehicles are a “good idea,” while 44 percent think the opposite.
GM, like most automakers, recognizes the mountain it has to climb to convince its customers that partially and fully autonomous vehicles can be a benefit to society, or at least be a comfortable and cool mode of transportation. That said, the company is eager to get more AV on the road to bring competitors to market.
“Would I like things to go faster? Of course I would,” said Jason Fisher, chief engineer of autonomous vehicles at GM. Boundary. “We want to be the first in the industry and when you look at the total addressable market there is a lot of revenue to be generated. We want to capture this market,” he said.
Fisher acknowledged that there is a lot of confusion about the differences between AVs and ADAS, which can make it difficult to address the skepticism that exists against this technology.
“We need to help people understand – and it’s clear from General Motors’ perspective – that the Super Cruise is not a fully functioning autonomous vehicle, [and] The driver is still expected to take control of their vehicle,” he said. “We are very, very clear about what is fully autonomous and what is the driver’s responsibility.”
Other companies are less conscientious about educating people on the differences between AVs and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). Tesla called its ADAS “Autopilot” and later released a more advanced version called “Full Self-Driving,” which critics say is the best example of “autowash,” the act of making misleading claims about the capabilities of a vehicle’s technology. it took.
A coalition of advocacy groups, which includes the AAA, Consumer Reports, Auto Vehicle Education Partners, JD Power, and the National Security Council, has recently released a series. new suggestions Arguing that a common language also for universal terms for ADAS features would help reduce driver confusion.
The timeline for mass adoption of autonomous vehicles seems to stretch further into the future, and more companies Disposal from AV projects horse sell them completelyGM says it still depends entirely on technology. The company’s CEO, Mary Barra, said earlier this year: GM will sell AVs for personal use It’s a bold prediction that raises expectations that AVs will only be suitable for commercial use due to expensive sensor suites.
The road to get there will be very bumpy. Cars will crash as they always do, and while it’s often a human driver’s fault, also sometimes it will be AV’s fault. Earlier this summer, a driverless Cruise vehicle crashed into another vehicle in San Francisco, injuring both the occupants of the vehicle and the vehicle. starting a federal investigation.
This was only the latest in a series of accidents that have occurred over the past year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at least 130 accidents involving vehicles equipped with automatic driving systems23 of them were reported by Cruise.
Sometimes it may seem that autonomous vehicles spin their wheels, operate in small neighborhoods in several cities, and are only minimally available to real drivers. But technology is making progress, albeit very slowly – which is of course by design. AV companies like Cruise need to make sure that vehicles can be driven safely before deciding to expand their area of operation. They want to be fast, but they realize that acting too fast can be disastrous.
“We don’t want to lag behind history,” Fisher said. “We want to be first, but we want to be the safest company out there.”