From this fall, the 2018 Cadillac CT6 will go on sale with GM’s Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system available, giving buyers the option of a premium luxury sedan with the ability to cruise along highways on autopilot, hands-free, so long as the driver is alert enough to resume control if needed.
But before Cadillac’s Super Cruise has even launched, the competition is already heating; Tesla’s Autopilot system, Mercedes-Benz’s Steering Assist, and Volvo’s Pilot Assist all beat Super Cruise to market by a few years, and recently, it came out that Volvo’s second-generation Pilot Assist feature will make its way into Volvo’s all-new XC40 compact luxury crossover for 2018.
The two systems – Pilot Assist and Super Cruise – are similar for their limited scopes, essentially coupling adaptive cruise control with a lane-centering system to enable the car to stay the course on the highway without driver input, but only when traffic, weather, and road conditions allow for it. But where Volvo’s Pilot Assist requires that the driver’s hands be on the wheel throughout operation, General Motors’ Super Cruise will ascertain driver readiness by using a camera and infrared lights to determine the position of his or her head.
Despite that nicety, that Volvo’s semi-autonomous system has been racking up real-world miles in production vehicles for the last few years, fueling its transition into a more advanced second generation, could give the Swedish system an advantage. Furthermore, the 2018 Volvo XC40 will also offer the automaker’s latest City Safety automatic emergency braking system, along with Run-off Road protection and mitigation – a crash safety system that tightens restraints and uses energy-absorbing seat members to help lessen the risk of spinal injury in the event of a road departure accident. All that could allow the Volvo to match or surpass the CT6 in terms of overall safety.
GM’s Super Cruise will be available on 2018 Cadillac CT6 Premium Luxury and Platinum models as a $25,000 option. Volvo’s Pilot Assist is available on numerous models, including the S90, XC60, XC90, and soon, the all-new XC40.