It’s called “Super Cruise” and is essentially a semi-autonomous technology that enables a vehicle to incorporate fully automatic steering, braking and lane centering under certain driving conditions. Furthermore, Cadillac says this technology could be ready for production by mid-decade.
Some of the fundamentals of this Super Cruise technology can already be found in existing Cadillac models, notably the 2013 XTS and ATS, as part of the Driver Assist Package. Notable features within this umbrella include adaptive cruise control at all speed ranges, lane departure warning, intelligent brake assist, automatic rear braking, automatic collision preparation and rear vision camera with dynamic guidelines.
Super Cruise will essentially take this technology to the next level and according to Cadillac, has been designed to ease driving stress on the freeway by gleaning information from ultrasonic sensors, radar, cameras and GPS map data.
“Super Cruise has the potential to improve driver performance and enjoyment,” remarked vice president of Cadillac marketing Don Butler. “Our goal with advanced technologies, like this and our CUE system, is to lead in delivering an intuitive user experience.”
However, even GM acknowledges there will still be limitations with the system. Because it relies on positioning data, namely forward looking cameras to detect lane markings and GPS data to examine road curvature, in poor weather, such as fog or heavy rain, it won’t be able to operate and drivers will still have to do the steering themselves.
John Capp, GM’s director of Global Active Safety Electronics and Innovation, believes the fundamental concept behind Super Cruise and other autonomous vehicle programs is safety. “In the coming years,” he said, “autonomous driving systems paired with advanced safety systems could help eliminate the crash altogether by interceding on behalf of drivers before they’re even aware of a hazardous situation. More than ever, consumers will be able to trust their car to do the right thing.”