We’re hardly on the verge of self-driving technology taking over responsibilities from humans, but some systems are becoming more mainstream. Thus, Consumer Reports deemed it necessary to take a crack at four semi self-driving systems on the market today.
On the docket was Cadillac and its Super Cruise technology, Tesla’s Autopilot, Nissan’s ProPilot Assist and Volvo’s Pilot Assist. Of the four systems, CR said Super Cruise was able to mitigate self-driving behavior and driver safety in the best way compared to the other systems. Super Cruise also ensured the driver was paying attention the best.
It’s always important to remind drivers that none of these technologies are intended to replace the driver. Instead, they’re luxury and convenience features. Cadillac’s Super Cruise will disengage if it finds the driver isn’t paying attention to the road for a period of time as a camera tracks eye movement away from the road. In the event a driver is totally unresponsive, Super Cruise can pull the car over and dial OnStar for assistance.
CR said Super Cruise offered the best balance of technology and safety, though the system is restricted to major U.S. highways. Tesla’s Autopilot, for example, can operate on any road, but CR noted the system behaved erratically when tasked with curvy roads and side streets. Nissan’s system kept drivers better engaged to the situation.
Tesla’s systems placed second due to its ease of use with Nissan coming in third. Volvo placed last as testers noted it overpromised and under delivered in both capability and driver safeguards. Cadillac still maintains the only true hands-free system in the business, while Volvo required drivers to make contact with the steering wheel when outside of straight roads.
Eventually, every Cadillac model will introduce Super Cruise technology before other GM brands encounter the trickle-down effect. Additional Cadillac’s equipped with Super Cruise will arrive starting in 2020 with the tech expanding to Buick, GMC and Chevrolet sometime next decade.