We can agree now that Cadillac may never be the No.1 luxury brand in America for a while, but it’s certainly among the most technologically advanced automakers of the world.
The maker recently premiered – for the first time in North America – V2V (vehicle to vehicle) communication abilities as a standard feature. Now it’s upping the ante with the addition of the previously promised Super Cruise semi-autonomous system, which is touted as the first hands-free system for the American market. You may point to the existence of the Tesla Autopilot, but there’s a technical difference to be considered – the Tesla system is now requiring (after an update) the driver to keep at all times the hands on the wheel. The Cadillac one has no such prerequisite, and it’s instead an attention-dependent system. This means you can take your hands off the wheel, but not your eyes from the road – Cadillac has cameras watching you and will even come to a halt of you don’t pay attention.
“When we were developing Super Cruise we knew it was important to keep the driver engaged during operation. That’s why we’ve added a driver attention function, to insist on driver supervision,” said Barry Walkup, chief engineer of Cadillac Super Cruise. During the use of the system, which is available on limited-access highways, the system will ask drivers to refocus to the road if they are not attentive for a longer period – visual cues, audible demands and tactile warnings in the seat will make sure the demands are followed. Super Cruise will never disengage – if no response from the driver is detected, the car will perform “a controlled stop” and alert OnStar “if necessary.”
The Cadillac Super Cruise makes use of LiDAR technology, as well as on-board cameras, sensors, and GPS data to navigate the car. The system needs appropriate areas to become available, for now only limited-access highways. “Super Cruise is a more technologically advanced hands-free driving solution, which in terms of capability, integration and validation is uniquely focused on customer convenience and safety,” said Johan de Nysschen, president of Cadillac. The introduction will be featured on the 2018 Cadillac CT6, starting this fall in the US and Canada.