After several years in development, General Motors is finally rolling out the Super Cruise semi-autonomous technology. The feature will be an optional upgrade for the 2018 Cadillac CT6 luxury sedan. Super Cruise is expected to be available for interested buyers later this year.
The popularity of autonomous and semi-autonomous driving features is undeniable. Both tech and traditional auto companies are jumping in into the trend in a bid to make their products appeal to the growing interests of their consumer base.
As for the Cadillac Super Cruise system, the company claims that it is the "industry's first true hands-free driving technology for the highway." There are two important points that Cadillac claims is a game changer for its technology. First is the availability of a LIDAR map, and second is the driver attention system.
— The Verge (@verge) April 11, 2017
According to CNet, unlike most autonomous driving features that have integrated LIDAR emitter, the Cadillac Super Cruise is built with a LIDAR system which works as a mapping agent for the car. The system uses LIDAR-scanned maps in order to determine its location, destination, and its immediate environment.
The driver attention system uses a camera which is located on the steering column. It uses infrared lights in order to track the driver's head position. The system will disengage the Super Cruise feature once it detects that the driver is not paying attention to the road.
In case that the driver is not paying attention to the road, the system will give out signals and prompts. If the driver continues to ignore these signals, a light bar in the steering wheel will light up. Ignoring warnings will engage the system to send out newer ones like vibrations on the driver's seat and warnings on the instrument gauge. If still ignored, the car will automatically stop and can even call emergency services if needed.