During the most truck intensive North American International Auto Show, ever, Chevrolet rolled out a lighter and longer Silverado which the company hopes can take a bite out of segment dominating F-150 and the uppity RAM 1500. 

The team at Chevrolet managed to carve out nearly 500 pounds from its half-ton using a similar mixed-materials strategy GM crafted during Cadillac CT6 development, in the Silverado, the ethos melds Advanced high strength steel with regular steel, with aluminum bits used for the hood, doors, and tailgate. Along with Chevy's six available powertrain combinations, the 2019 Silverado is the most advanced half-ton in GM history. 

But based on our conversation with chief engineer Tim Asoklis, mixed materials and advanced powertrains are far from the pinnacle of GM's new half-ton program. 

"GM is a front-runner for autonomous driving, and eventually those solution sets populate across the product set. You've seen Cadillac's Super Cruise cars that are out there right now, well, there's a lot of work going on behind the scenes I can't tell you about."

Arguably, the technology is far better suited to GM's large pool of pickup truck shoppers, versus a low volume, fully loaded executive saloon from Cadillac. In fact, it wouldn't be at all surprising if the more luxurious 2019 GMC Sierra bowed with Super Cruise technology when the redesigned truck makes its highly anticipated debut in a few months time. 

"You know truck buyers are very loyal and very vocal, so you gotta make sure the customer base is dialed in with you," added Asoklis. "You know, the world's moving fast now, autonomous, hybrid technologies, you look at everything when you develop this program. You're always trying to stretch the boundaries of the pickup."