driver attention system uses a small camera located on the top
of the steering column and works with infrared lights to
determine where the driver is looking whenever Super Cruise is
Cadillac is in
the middle of a massive marketing campaign to introduce its new
Super Cruise. The semi-autonomous driving system, available only on
the CT6 luxury sedan, is being billed as offering the "first
true hands-free driving on the freeway."
company has sent CT6 sedans literally across the country, holding
events in multiple U.S. cities, offering auto journalists short
Super Cruise seminars followed by a turn behind the wheel.
The system is
highly sophisticated. Using a combination of Lidar, high-resolution
GPS and a Driver Attention System that monitors the driver, Super
Cruise will allow the car — on certain roads, under certain
conditions — to travel great distances without any steering wheel
input by its operator.
The system is
said by Cadillac press materials to offer "comfort and
convenience," and to inspire "trust, confidence and peace
takes adaptive cruise control to the next level," Cadillac
marketing chief Kurt Ghering told a small group of auto writers
gathered near Los Angeles this month. "It’s like riding a
tandem with the CT6’s adaptive cruise control system, the Lidar
and GPS watch the road and anticipate turns, obstacles or other
changes in the driving surface. Sensors posted on the steering wheel
watch the driver to make sure his or her eyes are facing forward and
trained on the road ahead.
The driver can
turn away for extended periods — up to four or five seconds, in
most situations — to adjust the radio, pull something from the
back seat or rifle the glove compartment — while the car maintains
speed and direction.
If the driver
should turn away for longer than that, nod off or fail to respond to
certain warning signals, the Super Cruise system will take action.
First, if a
driver’s attention wanders from the road for too long, the system
will produce a flashing light, audible chime or haptic sensation in
the driver’s seat.
Then, if the
driver waits too long to acknowledge the warning signals, the system
will relinquish control of the car and decline to redeploy for the
duration of the drive — exactly what happened to me the first time
I drove a Tesla Model X equipped with Autopilot.
the driver doesn’t respond at all — because he or she is
sleeping, say, or having a medical emergency — the system will
slow the car down gradually, bring it to a stop, put on the
emergency flashers and call 911.
restrictions are very specific. Super Cruise works only on
"limited access" highways — those that have on-ramps and
off-ramps, and don’t have any cross traffic. The system will
engage only when the car is in the dead center of the lane, and the
adaptive cruise control is engaged, and only above a certain speed.
relinquishes steering duties when the driver needs to make a lane
change, merge from one freeway to another or exit a freeway.
right conditions, it works pretty well. During a mid-afternoon
drive, on three different freeways, Super Cruise took the wheel and
the adaptive cruise control worked all the pedals as traffic slowed,
stopped, stalled and started up again.
still the supervisor, but you could drive from Santa Monica to
Irvine without once having to touch the wheel," Ghering said.
Autopilot driver assist program, Super Cruise does not integrate
with the onboard navigation system, and can be initiated only when
driving conditions are met and the driver, prompted by an icon on
the dashboard, pushes a button on the steering wheel.
Cruise system will be standard on the 2018 CT6 Platinum and is
offered as a $5,000 upgrade on the CT6 Premium Luxury, as part of a
suite of driver assist and safety features. It is not available on
lower trim-level CT6s.
it was likely the system would be offered on other GM vehicles in
the future in the U.S. It will start appearing on CT6 sedans sold in
China by 2019.
a marketing challenge. Super Cruise, as a self-driving system that
is likelier to appeal to younger drivers comfortable with
cutting-edge technology, must be made appealing to the older
consumers who typically patronize the Cadillac nameplate.
division said this week that its September sales were up 16 percent
globally over the same month in 2016, representing a 16-month run of
consecutive growth. Year to date, the company has sold 256,613
improvements were largely in China, where sales were up 37 percent.
Sales in the U.S. rose just 1.1 percent during the same period.