Feature will debut on the 2018 Cadillac CT6
Originally scheduled to roll out in fall 2016, the automaker pushed back that timeline to perfect the technology. Now, the feature will arrive this fall to enable automatic control of speed and steering during highway driving.
Super Cruise takes a shot against Tesla’s Autopilot, although the two systems aren’t quite the same. Unlike other semi-autonomous systems, Cadillac says, Super Cruise can monitor a driver’s attentiveness to the road ahead. The company also says it’s the first to use precision LiDAR mapping data in conjunction with sensors, cameras, and GPS technology.
“Cadillac’s philosophy is to elevate driving,” said Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen in a press release. “Super Cruise enables safe, simple hands-free driving for the highway.”
Infrared lights and a small camera on top of the steering wheel column monitor a driver’s head position, and if the system detects the driver isn’t paying attention to the road, it will issue alerts to help the driver regain focus. If the driver continuously ignores the alerts, Super Cruise can bring the vehicle to a safe stop.
When combined with other features, the precision LiDAR map data improves vehicle control through hills and curves in the road. Cadillac says it has mapped every mile of highways with clearly defined on- and off-ramps in the U.S., and its GPS tech can measure a driver’s real-time location four to eight times more precisely than traditional systems.
As Cadillac introduces Super Cruise, Tesla is gearing up to launch Autopilot Hardware 2, which will enable fully autonomous driving. In fact, some companies including Ford and BMW are getting ready to launch advanced self-driving cars early next decade.