Automobiles

Cadillac Celestiq EV flagship first in line for GM's Ultra Cruise hands-free driving system

Super Cruise can handle highways, while Ultra Cruise promises hands-free driving even on city streets and local roads.

That's a whole lot o' light.
Screenshot via GM

General Motors was chock-full of news at CES 2022. Aside from the big debut of the 2024 Chevy Silverado EV, CEO Mary Barra on Wednesday revealed a bit of info on the automaker's upcoming Ultra Cruise system, too. The system will be exclusive to Cadillac to start, that much we knew. But it's the upcoming Celestiq flagship sedan that has the honor of introducing the world to Ultra Cruise. The electric sedan will enter production in 2023 and will be the first vehicle to include the system, Barra said. 

Ultra Cruise is a massive leap over GM's Super Cruise system, which is starting to make its way to more GM vehicles today. While Super Cruise is relegated to divided highways, Ultra Cruise promises a hands-free driving experience even on city streets. When GM announced Ultra Cruise, it said the system will allow drivers to keep their hands off the wheel in 95% of driving scenarios. That includes city streets, subdivision streets and even paved rural roads -- Ultra Cruise will be up to the task, GM said.

The system should be one heck of a selling point for the Celestiq sedan, which itself promises boatloads of luxury and technology aside from hands-free driving. We're talking a pillar-to-pillar screen on the dashboard, an electrochromic glass roof with four quadrants to specific dimmable areas, four-wheel steering and surely much more.

While Ultra Cruise won't qualify as a self-driving system on the SAE's scale of autonomy, it will most certainly push the envelope beyond anything we've seen thus far. 2022 has only just begun, but 2023 sounds pretty exciting.