We all know about Google’s fleet of self-driving Prius’s, but there are few automakers actually close to creating a self-driving car. Well, that was until now. Cadillac has been steadily testing its self-driving car system and has remained somewhat tight lipped about it all. Just recently, Cadillac finally released some information, along with several videos.
According to Cadillac, this system, dubbed “Super Cruise,” is not complete self-driving, but more of a situational self-driving car. It uses features that are already included in the existing XTS and ATS vehicles and tweaks them to allow Super Cruise to drive the vehicle without any driver intervention on the interstate.
It uses features like rear automated braking, adaptive cruise control, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, blind spot alert, and automatic collision preparation in combination with the vehicle’s GPS system and electric power steering to actually keep the car driving at safe speeds and in its lane. It is set by simply picking the lane and speed you want to drive in, then clicking the “Cruise” button.
Once activated, this system senses other traffic all around it, as well as the lane the vehicle is traveling in, and makes mild adjustments as needed. It even will take the vehicle through turns on the highway without the driver touching the steering wheel.
A sweet feature on Cadillac’s Super Cruise is that it uses the front collision detection system to measure the speed of the car in front of you. It then adjusts its speed to remain the prescribed two seconds behind that car. It will even bring the car to a complete stop and re-accelerate to the set speed, or the speed of traffic, all by itself, which makes it awesome for traffic jams.
There’s only one issue, it is not fully autonomous, but some drivers may treat it like such. You cannot just kick back and read the paper, as your Caddy drives you to work. It’s still a good start anyways.
GM expects to start rolling out versions of Super Cruise “In the coming years.”
Hit the jump to read Cadillac’s press release
Gallery Cadillac ATS
Gallery Cadillac XTS
Self-Driving Car in Cadillac’s Future
‘Super cruise’ technology could be ready by mid-decade
DETROIT – Cadillac is road testing a semi-autonomous technology it calls “Super Cruise” that is capable of fully automatic steering, braking and lane-centering in highway driving under certain optimal conditions. The system could be ready for production vehicles by mid-decade.
Super Cruise is designed to ease the driver’s workload on the freeway, in both bumper-to-bumper traffic and on long road trips by relying on a fusion of radar, ultrasonic sensors, cameras and GPS map data.
“Super Cruise has the potential to improve driver performance and enjoyment,” said Don Butler, vice president of Cadillac marketing. “Our goal with advanced technologies, like this and our CUE system, is to lead in delivering an intuitive user experience.”
Many of the building block technologies for Super Cruise are already available on the all-new 2013 Cadillac XTS and ATS luxury sedans, as part of the available Driver Assist Package. It is the first Cadillac system to use sensor fusion to provide 360 degrees of crash risk detection and enhanced driver assist features, including:
Rear Automatic Braking
Full-Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control
Intelligent Brake Assist
Forward Collision Alert
Safety Alert Seat
Automatic Collision Preparation
Lane Departure Warning
Side Blind Zone Alert
Rear Cross Traffic Alert
Adaptive Forward Lighting
Rear Vision Camera With Dynamic Guidelines
Head Up Display
The key to delivering semi-autonomous capability will be the integration of lane- centering technology that relies on forward-looking cameras to detect lane markings and GPS map data to detect curves and other road characteristics, said John Capp, General Motors director of Global Active Safety Electronics and Innovation.
Even when semi-autonomous driving capability is available on vehicles, the system will have operational limitations based on external factors such as weather and visibility of lane markings. When reliable data is unavailable, the driver will need to steer.
GM and its research partners recently conducted a study funded by the Federal Highway Administration on human factors in semi-autonomous vehicle operation. When asked, some study participants expressed strong interest in having a vehicle that could drive itself, particularly for long trips when lane centering and full-speed range adaptive cruise control could help lighten the driver’s workload.
“The primary goal of GM’s autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicle development is safety,” Capp said. “In the coming years, autonomous driving systems paired with advanced safety systems could help eliminate the crash altogether by interceding on behalf of drivers before they’re even aware of a hazardous situation. More than ever, consumers will be able to trust their car to do the right thing.”
Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. In recent years, Cadillac has engineered a historic renaissance led by artful engineering and advanced technology. More information on Cadillac can be found at media.cadillac.com.