New 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 to get Super Cruise, and it can now tow as well

Not much is known so far about the upcoming 2022 GMC Sierra 1500’s expected half-bike update (or its Silverado cousin, for that matter). While the people at GMC have promised that information “will come soon”, what they were willing to share will likely be one of the most revolutionary updates to reach the full-size pickup market in a long time. 2022 The GMC Sierra 1500 Denali will be the first GM truck to feature the company’s Super Cruise hands-free driver assistance function. But the bigger news for truck people is that starting with the Sierra, you will also be able to use the Super Cruise during towing. And we were among the first in the world to test it.

GM launched the Super Cruise 2017 on the Cadillac CT6 (the vehicle has since been discontinued). It then expanded the availability to CT4, CT5 and most recently the all-new 2021 Cadillac Escalade full-size SUV and Chevy’s 2022 Bolt EUV. (GM President Mark Reuss recently announced that Super Cruise would expand to as many as 22 General Motors products by 2023.) Super Cruise is a driver assistance system that uses high-resolution maps, sensors that look at the road, a car in a car. monitoring system for the driver’s attention and GPS location so that the drivers can walk hands-free. When you’re on an approved route (GM says there are currently more than 200,000 miles of mapped / approved Super Cruise routes with more being added all the time), the Super Cruise system takes full control of the accelerator pedal, brakes and the steering, which enables real hands-free driving.

Super Cruise has its limitations. The system is classified as a Level 2 Autonomous Driving Assistance System by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), which means that although it can handle multiple driving functions, it cannot make decisions on its own or follow map guidance. The system is also deactivated if something obscures the lane markings, including glare, snow or dirt, broken roads or structures. And it’s not exactly cheap, with the 2021 Cadillac Escalade costing an additional $ 2,500 for the Super Cruise option as part of an $ 8,850 option package that Super Cruise is not available without. Owners will also need to have a GM Connected Services account, which is free for a period but then costs about $ 25 per month (from 2021).

So how does Super Cruise pull a trailer?

In an effort to demonstrate the 2022 Sierra 1500’s Super Cruise capabilities including the all-new towing function, GMC invited a small group of journalists to GM’s Milford Proving Grounds to experience the technology first-hand. The new feature will begin rolling out first for the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 and then for other Super Cruise installations, including an update for the 2021 Cadillac Escalade.

GMC had two camouflaged development vehicles available for us to drive on the large 50 km long oval track at Milford. One truck was unloaded, while the other had a 20-foot trailer on tow.

Towing with Super Cruise was as uneventful as it was incredible. When the system showed that it was ready, we pressed the Super Cruise button on the steering wheel, the middle LED strip on top of the steering wheel turned green and we could release the steering wheel. At 70 mph (closed course, professional driver, etc.) the truck tracked straight and true in the lane and around the big curve. The GM engineers who rode with us assured us that the truck was smart enough to estimate the weight of the trailer by calculating the position of the throttle versus the speed of the vehicle, and it will adjust the following and stopping distance accordingly. We were also assured that all wind or passing swings of trailers would be quickly and automatically mitigated by the truck’s current trailer swing technology.

The unloaded truck was there to demonstrate another new feature of the Super Cruise, which also debuted on the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500. For 2022, the Super Cruise will not only be able to change lanes on request (when entering left or right with the turn signals, the vehicle will automatically change file when it is safe to do so); it will now also change file automatically. This gives a level of intelligence to the Super Cruise that drives it near or into level 3 autonomy. With the system activated, Super Cruise can detect a slower vehicle in the front lane and automatically initiate a lane change when it is free. It will then pass the slower vehicle and move back to the original lane. Unfortunately, none of the lane-change technology can be used with a trailer on a trailer, as clear visibility is required for the rear sensors.

Since we were the first time we use Super Cruise (we truck people are not allowed to play with sedans too often), we left our short experience duly impressed, especially with the first towing feature of its kind. GMC says that Super Cruise will be a late available option for the 2022 model but has not talked about price or full trim availability at this time.

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