General Motors’ Super Cruise technology is approaching a debut date in 2017, but the most recent development has the National Highway and Traffic Safety Association pondering its safety.
The cause for concern comes from a letter from the U.S. governmental agency, reported by Reuters. In question is the system’s ability to pull the car to the side of the road and enable its hazards. GM states this feature comes into play should the system detect too many corners or curves in the road. Super Cruise has been developed for highway driving only, and cannot be used on local city streets.
The system will alert the driver with a series of indicators, and if the driver does not respond, the vehicle will pull off. The NHTSA urged GM to “ensure that this fallback solution does not pose an unreasonable risk to safety.”
The system includes facial recognition, eye tracking and other software to detect if the driver is still paying attention or if they have fallen asleep behind the wheel. Should this occur, the system flashes a red visible warning, telling the driver to retake control of the vehicle. This is followed by seat vibrations and audible alerts. Finally, OnStar will chime in through the vehicle to speak with the driver should it become necessary.
The NHTSA stated enabling the flashers was indeed a safe method if the driver fails to respond, but the overarching safety around it remains in question.
Super Cruise is scheduled to debut alongside the Cadillac CT6 sometime in 2017. However, GM has no issues delaying the technology. Previously, the automaker stated it will release the system whenever the automaker deems it ready.