Trademarks Hint at Future GM AWD and Self-Driving Tech
Sometimes, it’s a lot of fun to speculate about the hidden future of automobiles, and through trademarks General Motors gives us plenty of traction to speculate. Take, for example, two new trademark names from the General: Sport Control AWD and Ultra Cruise. GM filed both of these trademarks on Sept. 20.
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Let’s start with Sport Control AWD. The trademark application says that the name refers to: all-wheel drive systems, electronic stability control systems, steering systems, traction control systems, suspension systems, and braking systems, plus all the components of the same.
This raises the possibility of a kind of sport-optimized all-wheel drive system. Or, alternatively and boringly, it could just be a rebranding of GM’s normal all-wheel drive systems.
Now, for Ultra Cruise. The application says that the name will describe software, cameras, ultrasonic sensors, GPS, and radar detectors for semi-autonomous driving. It isn’t much of a stretch to think this has something to do with Super Cruise, GM’s current system of semi-autonomous driving features. However, the question is, how so?
It is possible that this could be a name for a system to replace Super Cruise. Alternatively, it could be an upgraded or downgraded version of Super Cruise, offered as either a scaled-up, more feature-laden version or a stripped-down, budget-friendly version. The scaled-down version theory seems to make sense when you consider that GM likes to keep its Cadillac brand, which currently holds the only Super Cruise-equipped vehicles, separate from Buick, GMC, and Chevrolet.
Unfortunately, often companies file trademarks but never end up using them. We will just have to watch and wait to see what comes of it.