General Motors said it is planning to take its Cadillac brand's semi-autonomous “Super Cruise” driving technology to the next stage of testing, which includes real-world driving assessment and other tests. The company reiterated its previous announcement that this technology could end up in production models later this decade.
Super Cruise is a system that allows for autonomous lane following, braking, and speed control under specific driving conditions. GM said it designed the system to assist the driver on freeways, in bumper-to-bumper traffic, and on road trips but that the system still requires the driver to pay attention to the road and driving conditions. Super Cruise also makes use of lane-centering technology, which users forward-facing cameras to detect lane markings and various sensors to detect curves in the road and other features. The company said Super Cruise will use various types of alerts to communicate with the driver. GM said it developed these alert types on test tracks and in a 360-degree, motion-based driving simulator.
GM added that even when it adds the full Super Cruise system to production vehicles, it will still require driver attention, and that traffic, weather, and lane marking visibility will affect how it operates. GM said Super Cruise will prompt the driver to take control if reliable sensor data isn’t available to the system.
In terms of practical applications today, GM said the development of Super Cruise technology has led to the Safety Alert Seat and Driver Awareness and Driver Assist features in Cadillac’s 2013-MY vehicles, for example the 2013 Cadillac XTS and ATS sedans. These technologies are part of the available Driver Assist Package.