• Image Credit: Cadillac
  • Image Credit: Cadillac
  • Image Credit: Cadillac
  • Image Credit: Cadillac
  • Image Credit: Cadillac
General Motors has been working on its semi-autonomous driving system for years. Called Super Cruise, it had initially been slated for a fall 2016 debut. Of course, something as critical to safety as a self-driving system should ideally have the bugs worked out before putting it in the hands of customers, and the launch date had to be pushed back. It appears that Super Cruise is road-ready now, as Cadillac has announced the system will be available in the 2018 CT6 sedan when it goes on sale this fall.

Super Cruise offers hands-free driving on the highway, taking control of steering and speed under the supervision of the driver. An attention detection system – a camera and infrared lights that track head position – ensures that the driver is paying attention and is available to take over driving responsibilities. If needed, Super Cruise will initiate a series of nags, including a flashing light bar on the steering wheel, to regain the driver's attention. If the driver is unresponsive, the system can bring the car to a safe stop and use OnStar to call first responders.

The system employs a suite of sensors, cameras, and GPS, as well as precision lidar-scanned map database, to place the car where it needs to be on the road and in the center of its lane. It only works if the sensors detect appropriate road conditions, and is limited to the more predictable terrain of divided highways with on- and off-ramps. Yes, it's limited, but safety is paramount, and drivers who spend a lot of time on the highway will appreciate the convenience nonetheless.

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