Autonomous driving is one of the trends currently on a roll in the automotive industry. While there are still quite a few people not agreeing with it, there is no question about the fact an autonomous driving system helps the driver tremendously. After a few other manufacturer released these types of systems it seems Cadillac will finally have its turn. Their system is the Cadillac Super Cruise, a Level 2 partial automation system.
Cadillac Super Cruise Detail
This means that the car can steer, brake or accelerate without any input from the driver. However, it still needs the driver to be ready to take over at any time which is exactly the case with Cadillac’s system. Unlike the systems in many of its rivals, the Super Cruise does have a few unique perks which we are going to discuss now.
Just 5 sensors?
Some of its rivals offer as many as 12 to 15 sensors and cameras which steer and allow the car to offer a good amount of self sufficiency. In contrast the system used by Cadillac only has 5 different sensors, two of which are infrared sensors while two of them use sound to see what is in front of the car. There is also a central camera mounted right on top of the windshield which allows it to recognize patterns as well as different obstacles on the road. So far it seems that this system is a less complex one that what we are used to see.
Why? Well, it seems that at this point the Cadillac Super Cruise is actually intended to be used mostly on limited access highways. This is because Cadillac already mapped these types of highways both in Canada and the US. Their high resolution 3D map allows the cars to use their sensors in order to see where they are in relation to the map. This works great but it doesn’t provide a good option for the future because it means the car won’t be able to learn.
Only on the CT6
They announced that this system will be first released on the CT6, Cadillac’s flagship sedan. While not official, it will more than likely come on the rest of their models in the near future. As we said above, the Super Cruise is a level 2 autonomous system. The car can’t overtake by its own and it can’t really change lanes all by itself. This is because it doesn’t have any real cameras and even though it has lane-departure sensors and blind spot monitors, these can’t really provide a good picture of what’s behind it.
Because of that the driver will have to take full control of the car if he needs to pass which is actually a problem one of its rivals doesn’t really have. The unfortunate part is that Cadillac won’t be able to patch this feature into the future. Why? Well, the car doesn’t boast the necessary hardware at this point so they will have to come with a different revision if they want any new features on it.
Any good then?
While it has its drawbacks, the Cadillac Super Cruise is definitely a step in the right direction. Even though it only offers a partial level of automation, it basically allows the car to drive itself on the highway at high speeds. This is crucial because it takes the strain from the driver on those long highway cruises and it makes the car considerably more comfortable in the long run. The system also has a fail-safe mode built into it. If the driver doesn’t pay attention to the road or doesn’t feel good, the system will stop the car in a controlled manner and it will actually call the emergency services.