General Motors Super Cruise Driver Assistance Technology
General Motors Super Cruise is a semi-autonomous driver assistance feature that allows its driver to remove their hands from the steering wheel during extended periods of highway driving.
According to the NHSTA’s Automated Vehicles for Safety document, General Motors Super Cruise is qualified as a Level 2 type of autonomous technology, which means it is not a fully autonomous system, but rather serves as a driver assistance feature. Super Cruise technology first day viewed in Cadillac vehicles. In addition, in January 2020 Cadillac announced an enhanced version of the Super Cruise system that will allow for hands-free lane changes.
NHSTA states that there are a total of five levels of automation, with Level 5 considered to be a fully automated automobile, requiring little to no driver intervention. Level 2 automated systems, like Super Cruise, are defined as follows:
“Vehicle has combined automated functions, like acceleratio n and steering, but the driver must remain engaged with the driving task and monitor the environment at all times.”
Features And Technology
Super Cruise uses cameras, LiDar mapping, GPS information and radar sensors to automatically steer and brake during highway driving. The technology is capable of full-speed range adaptive cruise control and lane centering. Super Cruise requires an active OnStar service plan with emergency services to be fully operational.
When launched, General Motors Super Cruise technology was available on more than 130,000 miles of limited-access freeways in the U.S. and Canada. As we write this, the system has mapped up to 200,000 miles of North American roads due to a recent 70,000 mile expansion. General Motors promises to update Super Cruise’s road-maps yearly.
- April 2013: General Motors announces it is developing an autonomous driving technology called Super Cruise.
- October 2013: Popular Mechanics recognizes Super Cruise, despite the technology not being on the market.
- 2014-2015: rumors suggest that GM is planning to launch Super Cruise in the 2016-2017 time frame on the Cadillac CT6 full-size prestige-luxury sedan and Cadillac CTS mid-size prestige-luxury sedan.
- August 2015: Cem Saraydar, Director of GM’s Electrical and Control Systems Research Lab explains that Super Cruise will differ from current semi-autonomous because it will allow drivers to fully take their hands off the wheel and feet off the pedals.
- June 2016: General Motors files an application to register “Super Cruise” as a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
- July 2016: General Motors comments on Super Cruise delay, says that it will be launched “when it is ready”
- August 2016: General Motors files a design trademark with the USPTO that could be the logo for Super Cruise.
- September 2017: the first Super Cruise system is installed in the 2018 Cadillac CT6.
- January 2020: An enhanced version of the Super Cruise driver assistance system has been announced, and will be introduced starting on the 2021 Cadillac CT5 and CT4 and followed by the all-new 2021 Cadillac Escalade. Among the enhancements will be automated lane change functionality, which will allow the hands-free system to change lanes on compatible highways when requested by the driver and certain conditions are met.
General Motors Super Cruise was first released to the public on the 2018 model-year Cadillac CT6 during the third quarter of 2017. The system will then make its way to the Cadillac CT5, followed by the Cadillac CT4 sedan and and Cadillac Escalade SUV. As we write this, the Cadillac XT4, Cadillac XT5, and Cadillac XT6 SUV’s do not offer the system.
Super Cruise driver assistance technology operates in a very similar fashion as a standard adaptive cruise control system. Once Super Cruise judges that the situation is ideal, a thin green LED will appear on the upper section of the vehicle’s steering wheel, signaling to the driver that it is safe to take their hands off the wheel. As mentioned, an enhanced version of the technology will enable the hands-free system to make lane changes.
Of course, the system will continuously check back with the driver, periodically prompting them to regain control of the car for safety measure. When Super Cruise is not ready to operate, the thin LED located on the upper section of the steering wheel will turn red.
Follow GM Authority’s coverage of Super Cruise at this link: GM Super Cruise news.