Some would say that the autonomous car is an inevitable part of the automotive future. A big, scary word, for a big, scary idea. For some. But the reality is that some people are hopelessly terrible drivers, so a technologically-advanced
car mode of transportation should be better, right? Well that’s what automakers and politicians alike are thinking. GM’s idea, called “Super Cruise“, is a semi-autonomous technology that uses different components, such as cameras and radars, to keep a car not only in its lane, but also bring it to a stop if needed.
Existing technologies, including lane-departure warning systems and active cruise control, are precursors for autonomous vehicles, and can be found today in everything from BMWs to Cadillacs. Although these systems work well, the “smart” steering wheel isn’t quite here yet.
“The steering control is the big additional piece,” said John Capp, GM’s director of electrical controls and active safety technology in a Washington Post report. Capp notes that more work remains in regards to road conditions, the interaction of sensors, visibility of lane lines, driver interaction, manual override, etc.
It’s most likely that this technology would end up in a Cadillac first, and then trickle its way down to the Buick–Opel–Vauxhall, GMC, and Chevy offerings. On a related note, we were told that a Cadillac SRX was equipped with the technology, and worked rather well.
“Super Cruise will be designed in a way to help you keep your visual attention on the road ahead,” said Charles Green, an engineer who studies driver performance with autonomous systems. “The ‘how’ is something that will become more apparent as we show Super Cruise in its later versions.”
We’re not quite sure how the technology would work in real-world applications either, but we’re sure that our own Manoli Katakis could use it right about now on his journey to Colorado.