It has been a long time coming, but despite delays, the beginning of General Motors’ autonomous revolution has arrived. This fall, the 2018 Cadillac CT6 will arrive with GM’s Super Cruise technology to offer a seamless, hands-free highway driving experience.
The Super Cruise system utilizes two advanced technology systems to allow the luxury of hands-free driving: a driver attention system and precision LiDAR map data. The driver attention system is the steering wheel mounted unit we previously saw in a Cadillac advertisement. It features a small camera and infrared lights to focus on the driver’s head position to determine attentiveness when Super Cruise is activated.
If the system detects a prolonged period of time where the driver has not acknowledged his or her surroundings, Super Cruise will alert the driver to return their attention to the road. In the meantime, the system will still function, steering and controlling the car as needed. However, if the initial alerts do not prompt a response from the driver, Super Cruise houses the ability to pull the CT6 off the road to a controlled stop and alert OnStar first responders of a potentially unresponsive driver.
Overall, the system always encourages the driver to remain attentive at all times. Sleeping, reading and other various extra curriculars are not advised.
The incredible attention system is paired with real-time cameras, sensors, GPS and LiDar map data, which allows Super Cruise to work on designated highways marked with “on” and “off” ramps. The system cannot be engaged outside of these mapped road conditions. That’s not to say the mapping isn’t extensive; engineers mapped every single mile of highway across the United States and Canada to make Super Cruise a luxurious companion to freeway travel.
The introduction of hands-free highway driving is only a step towards completely autonomous vehicles, but Super Cruise is nearly here today. Cadillac will offer Super Cruise as an option on the 2018 CT6 sedan when it launches this fall.