Cadillac announced it is road testing new Super Cruise technology that lets the car steer itself on the highway.
Super Cruise is cruise control on steroids. A sensor detects any cars ahead and slows the car to match their speed, then it also keeps the car centered within a lane on a highway. And it also employs automatic braking. So, yes, it just about drives the car for you through a mix of radar, ultrasonic sensors, cameras and GPS map data.
GM calls it “semi-autonomous” technology because the system still has limitations. If the lane markings on the highway are missing, the system might have trouble. Also weather conditions could affect system performance. So the driver must be ready to steer.
The full system could be ready for cars by 2015, but aspects of it will appear on the 2013 Cadillac XTS and ATS luxury sedans. They will get virtual front and rear bumpers that bring the car to a stop if they sense an impending collision. They also have full range adaptive cruise control that can bring a car to a full stop and then resume speed automatically.
GM says the systems are the first for Cadillac to provide “360 degrees of crash risk detection and enhanced driver assist features.
The features include:
• 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 aim of the systems is to lessen the workload for the driver and to promote safety.
“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,” said GM’s John Capp, Director of Global Active Safety Electronics and Innovation.
The key to delivering semi-autonomous driving will be to integrate lane-centering with forward-looking cameras that detect lane markings and GPS map data to detect curves in the road and other road characteristics, said Capp.
To date, only Nevada has created regulations for self-driving vehicles.