In a statement this past Monday, General Motors announced that it has plans that it will begin offering self-driving technology and capability to customers by the end of the year on its new 2018 Cadillac CT6, being GM's first model with the new tech. General Motors calls their new technology "Super Cruise," which uses a combination of lane-centering as well as other driver-assistance features on freeways to allow for autonomous driving. Making a call-out to Tesla Inc.'s Autopilot software, General Motors has stated its new Super Cruise technology as, "the industries first true hands-free driving technology for the highway." According to GM, they have incorporated two very critical systems into their autonomous technology that Tesla Inc. has not, being a precision lidar map data system as well as driver attention monitoring, both crucial "to ensure safe and confident vehicle operation."
"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, Cadillac President, in a statement the same day. "Cadillac's philosophy is to elevate driving. Super Cruise enables safe, simple hands-free driving for the highway." Using a small camera mounted on top of the new CT6's steering column, the camera used infrared lights to track the position of the driver's head, and if it detects that the driver has looked away for a set amount of time, it well give off audible and tactile alerts to alert the driver until said drivers regains control and looks back forward. If in the case that the driver remains unresponsive, the new 2018 Cadillac CT6 sedan can stop itself and pull over and make its own call to OnStar for medical help.
"American drivers travel twice as many miles on urban and suburban highways as they do on rural roads" said Chief Engineer of Super Cruise, Barry Walkup. "Super Cruise allows hands-free driving and operates only within the environment where it has the most benefit. While it is technically possible for the technology to drive hands-free on other kinds of streets and roads, we feel strongly that this targeted approach is the best to build consumer and regulatory confidence and enthusiasm for advanced mobility." Super Cruise is only able to be activated on divided highways with no cross-traffic. General Motors used extremely accurate Lidar technology to map every mile of the limited-access highway system in the United States as well as Canada, allowing the Cadillac CT6 to be up to 8 times more accurate than GPS.