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Hands-free and diagonal driving inventions earn GM Popular Science award

Detroit Free Press logo Detroit Free Press 12/1/2022 Jamie L. LaReau, Detroit Free Press

General Motors and Stellantis' Jeep brand have been selected for the Best of What’s New Award in the auto category from Popular Science magazine this year.


The magazine on Wednesday singled out GM's Super Cruise as the best hands-free technology on the market, noting that it strikes a balance between hands-free driving assistance and safety.

"Using a network of laser-scanned highways at 10 times the accuracy of a GPS map with a full suite of ultrasonic, radar, and infrared cameras, Super Cruise can operate on more than 400,000 miles of marked U.S. highways, including executing automatic lane changes," Popular Science wrote. "Most important, however, is when it won’t operate: Super Cruise will disable the system for the entire drive if the driver looks away for too long, a road is unmapped, the vehicle’s data connection goes dark, or any number of failure points to keep the person behind the wheel engaged."

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Also making the list was the GMC Hummer EV, which Popular Science called a "maneuverable behemoth." The magazine explains despite the Hummer's heavy 10,000 pounds of weight and huge battery pack it "is a mind-blowing method of four-wheel steering. CrabWalk sounds too ridiculous and motion sickness-inducing to be true, but it is: All four wheels can steer the truck diagonally. The rear rims steer in tandem with the front at up to 10 degrees, enough to let this massive vehicle dance sideways like a crustacean that needs to parallel park, moving up to 25 mph."

The UConnect 5 infotainment system by Jeep was singled out for recognition because it puts the passenger in command, Popular Science wrote.

A touch screen for the front passenger is invisible to the 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer's driver. © Mark Phelan/Detroit Free Press A touch screen for the front passenger is invisible to the 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer's driver.

"In the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, all the fun is in the shotgun seat — and won’t distract the driver. The Uconnect 5 infotainment system can run up to eight independent displays, including a 10.3-inch touchscreen built into the passenger-side dash. To reduce distraction, Jeep tints the display so it’s a faint glow to the driver while still looking bright to the passenger," Popular Science wrote. A person can connect an Xbox to the HDMI port, stream shows with the built-in Amazon Fire TV and set the navigation system.

Comments from Jeep and GM were not immediately available. Ford Motor Co. did not make the list.

Also making the list was the GR Corolla by Toyota, which was dubbed a "three-cylinder powerhouse." The Grand Award Winner went to Vision EQXX concept EV by Mercedes Benz for its ability to go 747 miles on a single charge.

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Contact Jamie L. LaReau: Follow her on Twitter @jlareauan. Read more on General Motors and sign up for our autos newsletterBecome a subscriber.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Hands-free and diagonal driving inventions earn GM Popular Science award


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