GM and Tesla diverge on autonomous paths

Autopilot. The name connotes a futuristic vision, the automotive equivalent of soaring carefree through open skies.

Contrast that with Super Cruise, which suggests an enhanced version of cruise control, relief from road-trip tedium, like a good audiobook.

The two brand names reflect the diverging visions of autonomy that Tesla Inc. and General Motors are offering today’s consumers: Tesla’s Autopilot, defined by a promise to stretch the boundaries of technology, vs. GM’s Super Cruise, characterized by the limits it places on both man and machine.

Which vision consumers embrace could have broad implications for how quickly and aggressively autonomous technology is deployed across the industry. And the events of recent weeks and months are sure to shape that conversation.