Cadillac to Introduce "Super Cruise" Self-Driving Feature by 2017

During a presentation in Detroit yesterday, General Motors CEO Mary Barra confirmed that several 2017 Cadillac models will receive a semi-autonomous driving technology called Super Cruise. In addition, Barra said the 2017 Cadillac CTS will receive vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology.

Super Cruise will debut on an all-new Cadillac in a "segment where we don't compete today," Barra said. That could mean the technology will appear on a high-end luxury flagship, such as the Cadillac LTS sedan featured in our Sneak Preview issue that will serve as Cadillac's answer to the Mercedes S-Class. Last month, Cadillac chief engineer Dave Leone told Automobile that the LTS would be one of the lightest, best-driving cars in its segment, and reiterated that it will have a V-8 engine.

Cadillac has experimented with Super Cruise for several years and is now ready to put it into series production. The system allows a car to accelerate, brake, and steer automatically when in highway traffic. Cameras, radar sensors, and GPS maps help the car navigate roadways automatically, with the car's computer controller steering, braking, and acceleration. A more advanced version of the lane-keeping systems available on some other luxury models like the Infiniti Q50 and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Cadillac says Super Cruise works both in stop-and-go traffic and during road trips on more open roads. Nissan and Volvo will both offer similar traffic-jam assist technologies, although neither of those systems operate in open-road driving scenarios.

"Having it done for you - that's true luxury," Barra said. "But rest assured, Super Cruise will keep drivers alert and engaged, and when they want to take control, they're going to find a car that's really fun to drive."

Barra said as an example that Cadillac Super Cruise could take control during rush-hour traffic on southern California highways, or could drive itself on the freeways between California and Las Vegas. However, Barra said that a fully-autonomous vehicle that can also drive itself in urban traffic might not arrive until the next decade. We named autonomous driving systems our 2014 Technology of the Year.

In addition, the 2017 Cadillac CTS will receive V2V technologies that help the vehicle detect the movement of other vehicles. The systems, which recently received a stamp of approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, can detect if another vehicle will run a red light or has stopped on the road, allowing V2V technologies to warn drivers and potentially prevent crashes. On top of communicating with other cars, the 2017 Cadillac CTS will be able to use vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) singles to receive messages from traffic lights and speed limit signs. As shown in these photos, the alerts could be displayed in the car's infotainment system or via its head-up display.

"Everyone recognizes that when cars can talk to each other, and share information about speed, direction, operating performance and more, we'll save lives, save time and save money, as well," Barra said.

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