Cadillac Takes Self-Driving Tech to the Streets


Cadillac has tested its semiautonomous technology, Super Cruise, on closed courses and driving simulators, and now it could be coming to an interstate near you. Not for public use, of course — the technology won't be that far along until at least later this decade — but to take testing to the next level on real-world roadways. The automaker said that by the time testing is complete, researchers will have accumulated hundreds of thousands of driving miles in varied environments, including day and night, and weather and traffic conditions.

Super Cruise is capable of semi-automated driving, including hands-off lane following, braking and speed control under certain driving conditions. It is designed to ease the driver's workload on freeways, in bumper-to-bumper traffic and on long road trips, but still requires the driver to respond to external factors when prompted. The system uses lane-centering technology that relies on forward-looking cameras to detect lane markings and other sensors to recognize curves and other road characteristics; it also incorporates a series of alerts to communicate with the driver.

"Super Cruise is designed to give the driver the ability of hands-free driving when the system determines it is safe to do so," John Capp, GM director of Global Active Safety Electronics and Innovation, said in a statement. "Before we introduce this capability on a production vehicle we must put the system through rigorous testing and technology refinement."

Although semi-automated Cadillacs are still several years away, GM noted that some Super Cruise "building-block technologies" already are available on the 2013 Cadillac XTS and ATS luxury sedans as part of the Driver Assist Package. These include a safety-alert seat and 360-degree crash-risk detection.

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I'm hearing about this more and more on new model vehicles and I think it's a very interesting concept.


I feel like most automakers will just license Google's autonomous technology since it's already so far along. This is great that they're developing their own system.


I could get behind this. I don't know why driving enthusiasts are so against autonomous driving systems. The only thing they require is some expensive tech and an automatic, which could be a deal breaker.
But realistically, especially with automated manuals, this would give drivers the opportunity to relax while driving in traffic or on the freeway, while still letting them turn it off to carve canyons and wooded roads. Plus think of the safety benefits. This could drop automobile accidents, particularly ones tied to texting, dozing off, and drunk driving, to extremely low levels.
The only thing some might be wary of is the threat of this becoming a requirement and only allowing people to drive with it on. My response to that is to look at manuals. They predecease autmatics, and are more difficult/tedious to opperate, yet they still exist. At any rate, you would need full control if you were to drive on unmarked roads and the such.

Test Driver 36

I don't have a teenager around the house, so I'm looking forward to being able to send the Cadillac off to the market by itself, to pick up something for dinner.

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