Cadillac Super Cruise Explained

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2019 Cadillac CT6 with Super Cruise engaged | Photo: Cadillac

Cadillac Super Cruise is an Automated Driving System available on the Cadillac CT6. Here’s how it works.

Cadillac calls it “the first true hands-free driver assistance feature for compatible, divided highways”. Since Tesla’s controversial (and yet very effective) AutoPilot is a true hands-free driver assistance as well, Cadillac’s Super Cruise is, however, definitely the first to use LiDAR map data combined with real-time cameras, sensors and GPS. Until now, the Super Cruise system could only be activated on divided highways with no traffic control devices.

In a nutshell, Cadillac’s Super Cruise is one of the few systems where you don’t have to touch the steering every now and then, like Nissan’s PROPilot or Volvo’s Pilot Assist.

While other systems bet on steering wheel interactions to keep the driver focused, Cadillac’s Super Cruise relies on a bunch of sensors and alerts to watch and keep the driver engaged, with components like a driver attention camera, a battery of infrared components and sensors, and a large light bar on top of the steering wheel. Hence, when the system senses that your attention is slipping away (checking your e-mail, looking out the window, etc.) it will disengage the Super Cruise and prompt you to take control. How much inattention time does it take?  Give or take 4.5 seconds. But that time can be considerably affected by many aggravating factors from the sensors, disengaging the system quicker if needed.

As we speak, the Super Cruise is only available on the Cadillac CT6, but GM says its should spread pretty fast across the brand’s portfolio. According to the manufacturer, 30% of CT6 models on the road today are equipped with Super Cruise. And the data collected revealed that drivers engage it 50% of the time, when it is possible, of course. That means 55 000 miles are driven weekly on Super Cruise’s watch.


Expanding road compatibility

Super Cruise availability map of compatible, divided highways | Photo: Cadillac

Now, Cadillac has just announced it is expanding its compatible road network. Initially available on 130 000 miles or roads in the U.S and Canada combined, Cadillac added 70 000 miles of Super Cruise-friendly roads that will be available by the fall of 2019 as well as some improvements to the system itself.

Technically, Cadillac is ow including divided highways that have limited intersections and traffic control devices. The Super Cruise system will know that an intersection is coming and will tell the driver to take control of the vehicle, virtually disengaging itself until the intersection has passed.

In the end, Cadillac’s Super Cruise is another way to “let the car do Its thing” and is one of GM’s weapons of choice to compete in the autonomous car era the future has in store for us. Great weather, a spotless freeway and a lot of tech is still necessary to “convince” a car to drive itself, and even if the technology is quickly evolving, blocked sensors, faded lines on the road and drive inattention are still in the way of making autonomous driving a permanent thing.


Cadillac Super Cruise Photo Gallery

2019 Cadillac with Super Cruise | Photo: Louis-Philippe Dube
2019 Cadillac with Super Cruise | Photo: Louis-Philippe Dube
2019 Cadillac with Super Cruise | Photo: Louis-Philippe Dube
2019 Cadillac CT6 with Super Cruise engaged | Photo: Cadillac

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