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Would You Tow Hands-Free? Chevy and GM’s Super Cruise Lets You

Semi autonomous driver assistants have been around for a while now, but most of them disengage when you plug in a trailer. Why? Because the vehicle will need to compensate for the added weight to drive safely, and that needs to be programmed. GM recently did this however and now offers hand free highway towing with their super cruise on some models. 

We know not everyone is excited about autonomous driving, but it is the future of our cars. I personally am very excited about this feature, because many times we are towing over immense distances and a little assistance would be welcome. Let’s examine how this cutting-edge system might revolutionize the towing experience.

What Is Super Cruise?

Super Cruise is a Level 2 autonomous system. It combines adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, and precision LiDAR mapping to enable hands-free driving on compatible roads. Unlike Level 1 systems requiring constant supervision, Level 2 systems like Super Cruise can control steering and speed under certain circumstances, providing a semi-autonomous driving experience.

In addition to the cameras and lidar the vehicle does monitor the drive to make sure you are alert and engaged with the road. The system will not operate if you begin to doze off or take your eyes off the road.

While systems like this might seem disconcerting when you first engage them, I found that within minutes, I was quite comfortable with the vehicle’s control.

2024 Chevy Silverado Towing with Super Cruise | First Drive

How Does Super Cruise Work With Towing?

This is what’s new, but it’s all in software. The system utilizes vehicle information like trans torque and braking speed to determine the weight of the trailer and calculates braking distances accordingly. This ensures safe following distances and responsive braking performance. It also disables automatic lane changes while towing requiring driver assistance. This is because the automation does not know how long the trailer is.

What Trucks Have Hands Free Towing?

Multiple GM trucks come with a Super Cruise package that you can use while towing a trailer. These include:

  • Chevy Silverado: Hands-free towing with Super Cruise is available in the High Country trim level with a crew cab and short bed configuration.
  • Chevy Suburban, Tahoe, Yukon, and Yukon XL: You can equip these models with this system for hands-free towing, but specific trim levels may vary. Check with the dealership for available configurations.
  • GMC Sierra 1500 Denali and Denali Ultimate: Hands-free towing is typically available in the Denali trim levels for the Sierra 1500 lineup.
Note the light on top of the steering wheel, this is what notifies you that super cruise is enabled, below the instrument panel you will see a little bump too, that’s a camera watching you to make sure you keep your eyes on the road.
Source: GMC Press Library

How Much Does Super Cruise Cost?

The price varies and usually requires a very expensive “package” upgrade as its only available on the highest trims. On top of the trip cost however It is around $2,200 upfront for Chevrolet and GMC vehicles and approximately $2,500 for Cadillacs. However, after the first three years of use there is an additional service fee to use it. It is typically $25 per month to connect or $250 a year. 

Pro Tip: Make sure you know these 10 Ways to Make Towing a Big Rig Less Dangerous before you hit the road.

Super Cruise Limitations

No system is 100% perfect, and while it can make towing easier for some people, it has some downsides. 

super cruise towing a fifth wheel?
Source: GMC Press Library

System Disengagement

Despite its advanced capabilities, this hands free towing system may disengage under certain conditions, like inclement weather or road conditions unsuitable for hands-free driving. This can be inconvenient if you aren’t expecting it to happen, so you can’t fully check out while you’re driving. You will still need to monitor it to ensure it is engaged. 

Liability

It’s crucial to note that while this system offers hands-free driving, the driver remains 100% liable for any incidents or accidents that occur while the system is engaged. Diligently paying attention to road conditions is essential for safe driving when using the system.

braking system on tow vehicle
Hands-free towing offers convenience and assistance while on the road.
Source: GMC Press Library

Lane Changes

Super Cruise does not initiate or perform lane changes while towing. This can be helpful for extra stability. However, it is still crucial to remember that it requires the driver to manually execute any necessary lane changes.

Pro Tip: Safety is key while towing. Take a closer look at Is Triple Towing With Your RV Dangerous?

Is Hands Free Towing Safe?

Safety is a primary concern with any automotive technology, especially when towing heavy loads. While hands-free towing offers convenience and assistance, drivers must remain vigilant and attentive. Overall, I do believe this system is safe. The computer should have a better idea of how long it will take to stop than most drivers. However, we are sure there will be some problems, as there always are with new tech.

Truck Guys Experience Super Cruise on 2022 GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate

Is Super Cruise Worth It?

As RVers who spend ample time on the road, we think Super Cruise is worth it.  Ultimately, the decision to invest in this system boils down to your preferences, driving habits, and budgetary considerations. However, for those seeking a more relaxed and convenient towing experience, this new system is worth exploring.

Would you tow with Super Cruise? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

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About Tom Morton

Tom, a Pacific Northwest native, is our technical genius. Born in Washington and raised in Alaska before settling in Michigan. He's the man who keeps our operation running, both figuratively and literally.

With a background in Electrical Engineering, Tom specializes in RV solar systems and lithium batteries. He made history as the first documented individual to use a Tesla battery module as an RV battery. Tom has personally assisted countless RVers with system installations and has educated thousands more through his videos and articles.

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Tom's mechanical expertise extends beyond RVs to boats, planes, and all things mechanical. He's renowned for taking on maintenance and repair projects single-handedly and is often spotted underneath RVs, making him the technical backbone of our endeavors.

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