Cadillac is road testing a semi-autonomous technology in America called ‘Super Cruise’ that is capable of fully automatic steering, braking and lane-centering, saying the system could be ready for production vehicles by mid-decade.
Super Cruise is designed to ease the driver’s workload on the road, in both bumper-to-bumper traffic and on long road trips by relying on a fusion of radar, ultrasonic sensors, cameras and GPS map data.
“Super Cruise has the potential to improve driver performance and enjoyment,” said Don Butler, vice president of Cadillac marketing. “Our goal with advanced technologies is to lead in delivering an intuitive user experience.”
The key to delivering semi-autonomous capability will be the integration of lane- centering technology that relies on forward-looking cameras to detect lane markings and GPS map data to detect curves and other road characteristics, said John Capp, General Motors director of Global Active Safety Electronics and Innovation.
Even when semi-autonomous driving capability is available on vehicles, the system will have operational limitations based on external factors such as weather and visibility of lane markings. When reliable data is unavailable, the driver will need to steer.
“The primary goal of GM’s autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicle development is safety,” Capp said. “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.”