Cadillac Ups the AutoPilot Race with Expanded Super Cruise
Cadillac is adding new technology that it says will surpass competitors, like Tesla, in the autopilot department. Cadillac first debuted its Super Cruise technology on the CT6. Now it is expanding Super Cruise to all Cadillac vehicles by 2020, plus it is adding a new layer of technology that will increase safety.
Difference in Autopilot Systems
The move comes as Tesla’s autopilot system has been criticized for fatal accidents and other system failures. The most recent highly publicized fatal incident showed a Tesla in autopilot mode, accelerated and drove into a median barrier.
In announcing the Super Cruise expansion to all Cadillac models, Mark Reuss, GM’s executive vice president of Global Product Development said, “The expansion of Super Cruise and V2X communications technology demonstrates Cadillac’s commitment to innovation, and to making customers’ lives better. GM is just as committed to ushering in a new era of personal transportation, and technologies like these will enable it.”
Unlike the Tesla autopilot, Super Cruise requires drivers to stay engaged in driving the vehicle. Super Cruise does not allow drivers to concentrate on a hand-held device like a phone. Super Cruise monitors eye movement and will not allow the driver to look away for too long or fall asleep.
Additional Layer of Safety
The V2X technology that Reuss mentioned stands for Vehicle-to-Everything communication. It expands current Vehicle-to-Vehicle technology that lets cars communicate with other vehicles around them. The Vehicle-To-Everything technology will connect the vehicle to the compatible phones being carried by pedestrians and bicyclists. It can warn all of the people and vehicles within 1000 feet of possible dangers and help avoid crashes. The V2X technology will add another layer of safety helping the connected vehicle avoid obstacles and people in its path. Cadillac plans to offer V2X communications in a high-volume crossover by 2023 and eventually expand the technology across Cadillac’s portfolio.
“Cadillac is proud to be the leader for the company’s innovation,” said Steve Carlisle, Cadillac's new president. “Groundbreaking technologies like these continue to provide unparalleled comfort and convenience for our customers.”
The Super Cruise driver assistance feature uses LiDAR map data, high precision GPS, and a network of camera and radar sensors. Drivers must have an active OnStar service plan with emergency services to use it. Customers can drive hands-free on more than 130,000 miles of limited-access freeways in the U.S. and Canada. Super Cruise will be rolled out on all Cadillac models by 2020 and will expand to other GM models after that.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating several Tesla crashes that have resulted in fatalities.