Cadillac is enhancing its semi-autonomous Super Cruise system to enable automated lane changes.
The updated technology will debut later this year on 2021 model CT4 and CT5 sedans, followed by the flagship Escalade SUV. Tesla already offers the capability across its lineup with its Autopilot Navigate system.
How it Works
Super Cruise, which debuted in late 2017 on the CT6 sedan, currently allows for hands-free driving with adaptive cruise control under certain conditions. The technology uses cameras, radar, GPS and lidar map data, as well as a driver attention monitor.
Cadillac Super Cruise with lane-changing capability. (Image: Cadillac)
The lane-changing function is initiated when Super Cruise is engaged and the driver taps or switches on the turn signal. Once an opening is identified, Super Cruise will guide the car into the intended lane.
As with other Super Cruise functions, drivers will be required to stay attentive throughout the lane maneuver. They also can view updates on the progress—such as “looking for an opening” or “changing lanes”—that will be displayed on the instrument cluster.
Cadillac credits the added functionality to a mix of software and hardware upgrades. Improved rear-facing sensors and advanced algorithms, for example, enable Super Cruise to better track vehicles approaching from the rear.
GM's new digital vehicle electronics platform provides the necessary electrical bandwidth and data-processing power for the system. The architecture also is debuting on the CT5.
Other Super Upgrades
In addition to automated lane changing, Cadillac has improved Super Cruise’s user interface and hands-free driving dynamics to make the system more intuitive and better performing. The latter includes smoother steering, speed control and acceleration.
About one-third of CT6 owners have opted for the pricey Super Cruise option, which adds at least $2,500 to the sticker price. But more than four in five who have it, want it on their next car too, according to Cadillac.
Availability is expected to spread to other General Motors brands later this year, which should help reduce costs.
Earlier this month, ZF announced that it will launch a Level 2+ autonomous vehicle system with lane-changing capability later this year with an unnamed carmaker in Asia. The supplier claims its system will be priced to OEMs at “well under $1,000.”
While at the Tokyo Motor Show this week various vehicle manufacturers were showing off all manner of cars and crossovers and transportation devices that typically had to do with something autonomous, connected and/or electrified (ACE, as CAR’s Brett Smith categorizes this burgeoning field), the guys from Chevy were in El Segundo, California, showing off a different take on what can best be described as “toys for boys”—boys who do or don’t have driver’s licenses.
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Although all OEMs and suppliers do their utmost best to assure nothing but top-notch quality is achieved for their vehicles and systems, sometimes things simply go wrong because, well, that’s just how the Universe is.