GM to Educate Drivers on Hands-Free Tech

General Motors says it is determined to avoid growing “concern and confusion” about advanced driver assistance systems

Graham Hope

August 1, 2023

2 Min Read
A woman in the driver's seat of a Buick Envision vehicle.
General Motors

General Motors has launched a new public awareness campaign to try to reassure people about the merits of automated driving technology.

The “Hands Free Eyes On” initiative aims to increase consumer confidence in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) such as GM’s Super Cruise tech, which is steadily being rolled out across several brands.

GM says it is determined to avoid growing “concern and confusion” about ADAS, which was reflected in an American Automobile Association survey released earlier this year that showed fear of self-driving cars is on the rise in the United States.

And it comes amid a landscape where there is concern about the effect the marketing and naming of the tech are having on people’s ability to use it safely, as was demonstrated in a study into Super Cruise, Tesla’s Autopilot, and ProPILOT Assist from Nissan and Infiniti by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

At the heart of the campaign is the desire to drill home the message that even with cars equipped with hands-free capability such as Super Cruise, the (human) driver remains responsible for the operation of the vehicle, meaning their eyes must be on the road at all times.

In short, GM wants people to understand that cars with ADAS are not fully autonomous vehicles.

Related:AAA Survey Finds Fear of Self-Driving Cars Is Increasing

Scott Miller, GM vice president of software defined vehicle and operating system explained: “We know that to help achieve our vision of zero crashes, we must increase the adoption of ADAS and proactively highlight the benefits they [the systems] offer.

“To increase usage, we must help drivers understand how currently available technologies, like Super Cruise, work and the responsibility drivers have when using ADAS features. We want customers to be assured of what we are doing to safely deploy these technologies.”

The campaign will consist of free educational resources and tips on best practice on the website, as well as the company’s social channels, and content will be regularly updated.

At the same time, GM has also outlined its core commitments to ensure the tech is safely deployed. These include comprehensive testing and validation; the use of sensor tech; the inclusion of driver attention systems; keeping the company’s maps updated; and educating customers and stakeholders.

The campaign is timely as Super Cruise’s rollout continues to accelerate. It was announced in June that the Envision will be the first model from Buick to get the tech, following its availability on certain Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC vehicles.

Related:Study Finds Car Owners Misusing Driver Assistance Tech

And there was a major extension in coverage in 2022, when it was confirmed it would be available on around 400,000 miles of roads across the U.S. and Canada, including non-divided highways for the first time.

About the Author(s)

Graham Hope

Graham Hope has worked in automotive journalism in the U.K. for 26 years, including spells as editor of leading consumer news website and weekly Auto Express and respected buying guide CarBuyer.

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