June 19, 2023
Buick has provided the first glimpse of its refreshed Envision – and announced that it will be the first model from the brand to receive parent company General Motors’ hands-off advanced driver assistance system (ADAS), Super Cruise.
A newly released image of the updated Envision reveals an attractive, modern look for the SUV, which clearly takes design inspiration from the Wildcat concept revealed by Buick last June.
But the real big news comes under the skin, with the confirmation that it will get the Level 2 ADAS tech, as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers.
Until now, Super Cruise has only been offered on vehicles from other brands in the General Motors stable – namely Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC. The arrival of the 2024 Envision at the tail end of this year will add a new name to the list.
Super Cruise uses precision lidar mapping data, real-time cameras, radars and GPS to deliver an array of driving assistance features, including braking, acceleration and, in some instances, lane changes, delivering a hands-free driving experience on compatible roads.
However, although “hands-off” driving is possible, there has to be someone behind the steering wheel at all times, and they are constantly monitored to ensure they are paying attention.
The tech underwent a significant upgrade last year when it was announced that it would be able to operate on around 400,000 miles of roads across the United States and Canada, including, for the first time, non-divided highways. This was a massive increase in coverage, essentially constituting a doubling of the roads where it was available.
At the time, Mario Maiorana, GM’s chief engineer, Super Cruise, pledged: “We are pursuing what we believe to be the most comprehensive path to autonomy in the industry with responsible deployment of automated driving technology like Super Cruise at the core of what we do.”
GM is on record as saying it aims to have Super Cruise available on 22 models across its entire portfolio by the end of 2023.
Buick’s embracing of the tech marks an early step in the ongoing regeneration of the brand. Last year it announced its intention to introduce its first EV by 2024, and detailed plans to go all-electric by 2030. It also committed to a greater focus on connectivity.
As well as Super Cruise, GM is also working on an even more advanced automated system, Ultra Cruise, which is promised to deliver “destination to destination” hands-free driving. It is expected to work on more than 2 million miles of roads at launch but is considered a more premium product and as such will be reserved for GM’s most premium EVs. It is set to debut on the Cadillac Celestiq in 2024.
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