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Cadillac road-testing semi-autonomous driving technology

Cadillac is road-testing a semi-autonomous driving technology it calls “Super Cruise” that is capable of fully automatic steering, braking and lane-centering in highway driving under certain optimal conditions. The system could be ready for production vehicles by mid-decade.

Super Cruise is designed to ease the driver’s workload on the freeway, in both bumper-to-bumper traffic and on long road trips by relying on a fusion of radar, ultrasonic sensors, cameras and GPS map data.

Many of the building block technologies for Super Cruise are already available on the 2013 Cadillac XTS and ATS luxury sedans, as part of the available Driver Assist Package. It is the first Cadillac system to use sensor fusion to provide 360 degrees of crash risk detection and enhanced driver assist features, including:

  • Rear Automatic Braking
  • Full-Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Intelligent Brake Assist
  • Forward Collision Alert
  • Safety Alert Seat
  • Automatic Collision Preparation
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Side Blind Zone Alert
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Adaptive Forward Lighting
  • Rear Vision Camera With Dynamic Guidelines
  • Head Up Display

The key to delivering semi-autonomous capability will be the integration of lane-centering technology that relies on forward-looking cameras to detect lane markings and GPS map data to detect curves and other road characteristics, said John Capp, General Motors director of Global Active Safety Electronics and Innovation.

Even when semi-autonomous driving capability is available on vehicles, the system will have operational limitations based on external factors such as weather and visibility of lane markings. When reliable data is unavailable, the driver will need to steer.

GM and its research partners recently conducted a study funded by the Federal Highway Administration on human factors in semi-autonomous vehicle operation. When asked, some study participants expressed strong interest in having a vehicle that could drive itself, particularly for long trips when lane centering and full-speed range adaptive cruise control could help lighten the driver’s workload.

The primary goal of GM’s autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicle development is safety. In the coming years, autonomous driving systems paired with advanced safety systems could help eliminate the crash altogether by interceding on behalf of drivers before they’re even aware of a hazardous situation.

—John Capp



The spookiest vieo of this I have seen so far is from BMW:

what stands out for me is that it just looks like a normal 5 series, without all the stuff that are on the Google cars.


I thought of Range Cruise 10 years ago after a back up on the freeway. Everyone was cruising along at 70 mpg while the whole freeway was stopped a mile ahead. People did not anticipate until it became clear that there was a problem.

Radar from the front grill would tell the on board computer that there was a problem and alert the driver. If the driver did not take action, the car would to avoid a rear end collision and a multiple car accident.


If GM engineers can do all these things, why can't they make the car that obey the posted speed limit on any road? Does this car automatically follow at a safe 2 second distance?


I'm sure they could do that, but who would buy such a car?


Once you have lane centering, you are almost there.
And then the fun begins.
What happens when a driver falls asleep ?
Will you be able to detect it (probably).
Will you be able to wake him up (probably).
Will you be able to wake him up safely ????

It would be very tempting to just drift off to sleep on a warm sunny day.

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