Home » GM » Cadillac » Cadillac Announces "Super Cruise"
Cadillac Announces "Super Cruise"

Cadillac Announces "Super Cruise"

Cadillac is joining the growing list of brands offering self-driving technologies. Today the company officially announced its long-rumored Super Cruise system, which enables hands-free driving for drivers of the 2018 CT6 sedan.

Cadillac says Super Cruise is different from existing driver assistance systems because of two primary reasons: its driver attention system and use of LiDAR mapping data. Those two elements, combined with existing radar and camera systems onboard most Cadillac models, will make Super Cruise more accurate than other systems, the brand says.

A core element of Super Cruise is its ability to detect the driver’s attention. Cadillac has mounted a camera on the steering column that has the sole purpose of watching the driver to see where their attention lies. This is key because Cadillac is saying Super Cruise enables hands-free driving, so tracking eye-movement becomes the only accurate method to determining if the driver is still paying attention to the road.

Most driver assistance systems on the market today do not actively track the driver’s attention. Instead, they rely on steering wheel sensors and timed warning messages to keep the driver paying attention to the road.

When enabled, Super Cruise can essentially take-over highway driving. Through the use of cameras, radar, LiDAR and advanced GPS, the CT6 will basically drive itself on highway conditions. Specifically the system will keep the car centered in the lane, control the speed and steering during highway driving.

While automated systems are hardly new to the industry, Cadillac’s use of LiDAR mapping is amongst the industry’s first. LiDAR uses laser light to map the terrain ahead and measure distances to everything it touches. This, combined with real-time data from the cameras and radar, creates a more accurate picture for the car to operate from.

Cadillac says its engineers mapped every limited-access highway in the U.S. and Canada with LiDAR, creating a huge database for Super Cruise to tap and merge with real-time information from the car to allow it to self-drive. Cadillac will provide future updates to the LiDAR backed database via over-the-air updates.

Despite the alleged accuracy of the system, Cadillac’s driver attention system will ultimately bring the vehicle to a controlled stop if it feels the driver is not attentive to the road. This shut down will only happen after multiple warnings and alerts suggesting the driver pay more attention, though.

Super Cruise will launch this fall on the 2018 CT6 sedan.

 





 

About Nick Saporito

AutoVerdict Senior Editor Nick Saporito began writing about cars at age 13. Nick ran a couple of automotive enthusiast sites for several years, before taking some time off to focus on his career and education. By day he's a marketing executive in the telecom world and by night he hangs out here at AV. You'll find him focusing on tech, design and the industry's future.
Thoughts?! We're all about community! Sound off in the comments, share your review or join the discussion in our forum.

Leave a Comment

 Latest Forum Messages
  1. germeezy1
    Tone
    Nope. It allows you to take your hands off of the wheel (which is how Mercedes tells the driver is somewhat paying attention). But, it still expects a driver to pay attention and be prepared to take over when necessary. Moreover, it can only be used on highways with clear lane markings, meaning autonomous driving (even limited) door-to-door isn't part of its portfolio.

    From Car and Driver:

    "Unlike more advanced systems, General Motors classifies Super Cruise as a Level 2 autonomous system, one that NHTSA defines as a driver-assist feature in which the vehicle can conduct some parts of the driving but humans retain responsibility for monitoring the environment and performance."

    Level 5 would be the ability to get into a vehicle, tell it where you want to go, and have it drive you there with no need for human intervention. It's the endgame, but nobody has a production car with that capability yet.


    I stand corrected, and I should have perused the technical brief of the system more before I commented. I appreciate the respectful correction, and the excerpt from GM engineers that you posted.
    Tone
    CobaltSSKing
    You really can't underestimate the ability to move around a bit. I just don't see the point of the system if your hands are still required on the steering wheel. What user case is there for a system that require your hands on the wheel.


    None, really. I think it was the easiest way for Mercedes to confirm the driver was paying attention. I seem to recall it's pretty easy to fool -- I think someone taped a can of coke to the steering wheel and drive across a state without touching pedals or steering wheel.
    CobaltSSKing
    Tone
    My understanding is that Mercedes and Tesla have similar system capabilities, but Mercedes is far more cautious in terms of what it will allow the driver to do compared to Tesla (for example, Mercedes wants to see hands on the wheel, Tesla doesn't require that, but both expect the driver to pay attention and take over if needed). What Cadillac has done is replace the Mercedes stand-in for 'driver is paying attention' with something less intrusive and, potentially more accurate (if it can track what your eyes are looking at). Cadillac might provide a Mercedes-level conservative approach to ensuring the driver is paying attention with a Tesla-like ability to put your hands and feet in a comfortable posture. Don't underestimate the value of that -- on a very long drive, being able to shift positions occasionally can really reduce fatigue and discomfort. It's not a trivial thing.


    You really can't underestimate the ability to move around a bit. I just don't see the point of the system if your hands are still required on the steering wheel. What user case is there for a system that require your hands on the wheel.
    Tone
    member12
    I saw an automated Uber Volvo have to stop today in Pittsburgh. I'm not sure if it was being driven autonomously at the time, but it did have to hit the brakes pretty hard. That spinning camera is probably not something that most people want on their cars.

    I don't think anyone is ready for fully autonomous driving (that might be 15-20 years away from mainstream use), but we are technologically ready for assisted autonomous driving on freeway slogs. Every tool that we'd use to keep the car in the lanes requires pristine lane markings, which just isn't reality especially if there is any rain or snow. Even with Tesla's system (which IMO is very good), drivers have to intervene at traffic circles or when there's inclement weather. It works much better on highway jaunts.

    I'm VERY interesting in trying out this new Cadillac system. Correct me if I'm mistaken, but it looks like they just leapfrogged Mercedes on this technology and are approaching something like Tesla's system.


    My understanding is that Mercedes and Tesla have similar system capabilities, but Mercedes is far more cautious in terms of what it will allow the driver to do compared to Tesla (for example, Mercedes wants to see hands on the wheel, Tesla doesn't require that, but both expect the driver to pay attention and take over if needed). What Cadillac has done is replace the Mercedes stand-in for 'driver is paying attention' with something less intrusive and, potentially more accurate (if it can track what your eyes are looking at). Cadillac might provide a Mercedes-level conservative approach to ensuring the driver is paying attention with a Tesla-like ability to put your hands and feet in a comfortable posture. Don't underestimate the value of that -- on a very long drive, being able to shift positions occasionally can really reduce fatigue and discomfort. It's not a trivial thing.
    Tone
    germeezy1
    Level 5 equates to truly self driving, and this system allows that. It requires no human control intervention even periodically. Arguably it could be considered level 4 because it requires attention paid to the road. It certainly isn't level 3 autonomy.


    Nope. It allows you to take your hands off of the wheel (which is how Mercedes tells the driver is somewhat paying attention). But, it still expects a driver to pay attention and be prepared to take over when necessary. Moreover, it can only be used on highways with clear lane markings, meaning autonomous driving (even limited) door-to-door isn't part of its portfolio.

    From Car and Driver:

    "Unlike more advanced systems, General Motors classifies Super Cruise as a Level 2 autonomous system, one that NHTSA defines as a driver-assist feature in which the vehicle can conduct some parts of the driving but humans retain responsibility for monitoring the environment and performance."

    Level 5 would be the ability to get into a vehicle, tell it where you want to go, and have it drive you there with no need for human intervention. It's the endgame, but nobody has a production car with that capability yet.
Welcome to AutoVerdict: News, Reviews, Community