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2023-03-29 | New Roads Magazine

5 Questions with an Engineer on Super Cruise

Meet Katie Sloman, an engineer working on the development and continuous improvement of driver assistance technologies for Chevrolet and GM.

As a controls system engineer, Katie Sloman works on everything from standard driver assistance features to GM’s available Super Cruise™ hands-free driver assistance technology for compatible roads. Last year, GM announced plans to double the Super Cruise road network. Enjoy the largest hands-free driving network in North America, including some famous stretches like Route 66, the Pacific Coast Highway, the Overseas Highway and the Trans-Canada Highway.

Q: What was the first big project you worked on when you joined General Motors?
A: It was our first version of Super Cruise, when I joined in 2017. We were just launching it on the 2018 Cadillac CT6. I got to help with field service — troubleshooting issues and getting customers back into their cars as soon as possible.

GET TO KNOW KATIE

HOMETOWN:
Vancouver, Canada

EXTRACURRICULARS:
Sports. I’m learning how to golf now, and it’s fun — it’s a nice activity outside.

NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT
Helped develop and launch the new generation of Super Cruise in GM’s full-size trucks and SUVs.

Q: What sets Super Cruise apart from other hands-free driving systems?
A:
With Super Cruise, I became very comfortable really early on. Being in Canada and coming down to the U.S. for some work trips, I got to use Super Cruise for five-hour drives, and it’s amazing how much more refreshed you feel after you’ve used that feature.


Q:
How did you become interested in engineering?
A:
I knew I was interested in science and math and didn’t want to be stuck in a lab, so I thought, OK, engineering sounds interesting. I ended up doing chemical engineering, and through Queen’s University in Canada, I got involved with a design team doing fuel cell technology. We had a golf cart that we modified to use a fuel cell and batteries.


Q:
Is that what led you to working in the auto industry?
A:
GM came to campus and gave a presentation on what their next few years were going to look like — how they’re going to tackle electric vehicles, fuel cells, and autonomous vehicles. I listened to that presentation and thought, wow, automotive is going to be a really neat area over the next 20 years.

STORY: STEVEN EWING / PHOTOGRAPHER: JENNY RISHER

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