How Does It Compare To The Competition
Other premium carmakers from Audi to BMW to Genesis and Mercedes each offer similar automated cruise systems, some even with similar automated lane changes, but none enable the same hands-free driving, at least in North America.
Tesla offers an optional version of its Autopilot system that will take things a step further than Cadillacs Super Cruise. With a destination programmed into the Teslas GPS, the driver can engage Autopilot and the car will not only manage its speed and lane discipline, but also execute lane changes to pass slower-moving traffic it encounters, and even move to an exit ramp and slow down. Tesla does require a driver to maintain contact with the steering wheel, although, as a recent Consumer Reports test indicated, it is startlingly easy to trick the system, and there are an increasing number of reports of Teslas involved in serious crashes because its drivers werent actually paying attention.
Cadillac takes a more responsible approach than Tesla and employs a sophisticated driver attention system to ensure the person behind the wheel is always paying attention. A sensor atop the steering column watches the drivers eyes and if it determines they arent watching the road, itll issue a friendly reminder. Cadillacs system doesnt care if youre approaching an off-ramp needed to reach a GPS-programmed destination and will cruise right past it if theres no driver intervention. If the driver moves to the off-ramp, Super Cruise shuts off.
Which One Is More Advanced
The answer to this question largely depends on who you ask, and how you define the term advanced. Whats certain is that Cadillacs system was designed specifically for hands-off operation, while Teslas wasnt.
With an attentive driver, and under the proper conditions, Super Cruise can be equipped to permit hands-free operation of the vehicle,according to Cadillac. Meanwhile, Teslas fine print claimsAutopilot is a hands-on driver assistance system that is intended to be used only with a fully attentive driver.
Simply put, you can take your hands off the steering wheel in a Cadillac but you need to keep both hands on it in a Tesla. Of course, the countless videos of motorists sleeping, eating, reading, putting on makeup, and crashing on Autopilot suggest these guidelines arent always followed.
With that said, Autopilot boasts a more robust set of features than Super Cruise. Theres no Cadillac-branded equivalent to Smart Summon, and the system cant automatically take an off-ramp . And, Autopilot can be engaged on more roads than Super Cruise because its not map-dependent. Its fair to say Super Cruise is more advanced, while Autopilot is more comprehensive. And both are extremely innovative technologies.
Everything You Need To Know About Cadillac Super Cruise
What it does, what it doesn’t do, and why it’s important.
After the latest fatal accident involving a Tesla vehicle, we thought it would be a good time to talk about driver-assistance features, particularly semi-autonomous systems like Autopilot. Many people misunderstand the limitations of these systems, as evidenced by the litany of accidents. Despite popular belief, Tesla’s Autopilot is not a dedicated “hands-free” system where drivers can remove their hands from the wheel. In fact, the only systems currently available that offer this ability are Super Cruise from General Motors and BMW’s Extended Traffic Jam Assistant, which isn’t as advanced.
Ford will soon introduce its similarly-named Blue Cruise system for the F-150 and Mustang Mach-E, but as of right now, Super Cruise is the gold standard for driver-assist features. To educate people on how Super Cruise works, we borrowed a 2021 Cadillac Escalade Sport for a week to test the technology ourselves. It’s pretty cool in practice, but it’s far from perfect.
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How To Engage Cadillac Super Cruise
- Step #1: Press the Adaptive Cruise Control button on the steering wheel. The symbol will illuminate in white on the instrument cluster. If Adaptive Cruise Control is already set, the symbol will be green.
- Step #2: When Super Cruise detects the driver is on a compatible roadway, the symbol will illuminate in white on the instrument cluster.
- Step #3: When it is safe to do so, press the Super Cruise button on the steering wheel to engage the system. When the symbol and steering wheel light bar illuminate in green, it is okay for the driver to remove their hands from the wheel. However, green is the only permissible color. Drivers should not, under any circumstances, take their hands off the wheel unless the light bar is green.
- Step #4: To disengage, tap the brake pedal or press the Super Cruise button again.
What Is Gm’s Super Cruise Feature
Before we dive into our experience with the system, let’s look at a short history of Super Cruise and a primer on exactly what it is . GM first launched Super Cruise in 2017 on the Cadillac CT6 . It then expanded availability to the CT4, CT5, and most recently the all-new 2021 cadillac escalade and Chevy’s 2022 Bolt EUV. Super Cruise is a true hands-free driver assistance system that uses high-definition maps, sensors watching the road, an in-car monitoring system for driver attentiveness, and GPS location to allow drivers to go hands-free. When on an approved road the Super Cruise system takes full control of the accelerator, brakes, and steering allowing for truly hands-free driving.
To experience Super Cruise in our day-to-day life rang up GM and borrowed another 2021 cadillac escalade, this one equipped with the 3.0L Duramax diesel engine and, of course, Super Cruise. The first thing we noticed is that living in the Los Angeles area almost all of our freeways are Super Cruise enabled, which is certainly a win. If you live outside of a major metro area it would be worth consulting GM’s Super Cruise map before committing to the cost of Super Cruise. We did our best to use Super Cruise every day and on every road that supported the function.
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Cadillac Escalade Esv Dominates The Seasons
Everything related to Super Cruise operation is clearly laid out in the Escalades digital gauge cluster with both images and text, including an explanation in the event of a disengagement. It tells me when the lane change starts and ends, and the speedometer has obvious markers that let me know when the vehicle is ready for the computers to take the wheel. Its pretty idiot-proof.
Thats the beauty of Super Cruise right there: Its just so darn easy to use, and in an overwhelming plurality of situations, it performs precisely as expected. Yes, there are a few edge cases, some of which are unique to the 2021 Escalades footprint, but by and large, adding this driver aid to Cadillacs biggest SUV makes a serene highway cruiser feel even more effortless.
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How Lane Change On Demand Works
When the driver taps the turn signal, Super Cruise looks for what Cadillac describes as an acceptable opening on the highway. Should Super Cruise determine the desired lane is open, the car will begin merging automatically. At that time, the gauge cluster flashes a message indicating the lane change has begun. The system displays messages such as looking for an opening or changing lanes to keep the driver informed at all times.
The driver attention system, a central component of Super Cruise, still requires the driver to focus during the lane change. Should the driver turn away, or become distracted while Super Cruise is engaged, the system will initiate a prompt. And if Automated Lane Change is unavailable for any reason, Super Cruise reverts back to the driver.
In addition to the automated lane change functionality, weve made improvements to the user interface and hands-free driving dynamics, Maiorana added.
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The Cadillac Super Cruise Ecosystem
Super Cruise employs the aforementioned driver attention system, along with precision LiDAR map data and a network of cameras and sensors that use real-time information. The data from each of these points helps govern and control steering, braking, and acceleration. As it concerns Automated Lane Change, the cameras and radar sensors continuously scan around the vehicle to determine if an opening exists in the desired lane.
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Experience The Cadillac Super Cruise At City Cadillac
If the Super Cruise system is something you want in a new Cadillac model, visit City Cadillac for a test drive in a new vehicle! Once you get the feel for hands-free driving, you wont want to drive without it. Learn more about this system and its upcoming 2021 updates, check out our new vehicle specials, and contact us with any questions!
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When Can I Use Cadillac Super Cruise
You can only activate Cadillac Super Cruise on under these conditions:
- Youre driving on a limited-access freeway where theres a divider between your lane and oncoming traffic.
- The Forward Collision System is set to alert and brake.
- You have Adaptive Cruise Control on.
- You arent using Teen Driver.
- The system detects that youre attentive.
- Nothing is covering or obstructing camera or radar sensors.
- The camera and radar sensors arent damaged.
- You can clearly see lane markings.
You should not engage Cadillac Super Cruise under the following conditions:
- While towing
- When driving on a shoulder
- When traveling through a tunnel
- In construction zones
- With limited visibility
- When weather or road conditions are poor
Experience Cadillac Super Cruse firsthand when you test-drive a 2018 Cadillac CT6 Sedan at Schepel Cadillac. We cant wait to show you how this incredible new safety technology works.
Proper Use & Warnings
Although Super Cruise is a highly-advanced driving system, it still requires an attentive motorist in order to operate properly. Therefore, you should be aware of conditions that make its use unsafe. For instance, it should not be engaged when traveling in challenging road conditions, if you’re towing a trailer, or when visibility is poor. Furthermore, Super Cruise requires your full attention, even though you’re not actively controlling the vehicle. If it detects that you’re not focused on the road ahead, it will issue visual and audible warnings. Eventually, it will automatically disengage if you don’t make the necessary corrections.
So, what is Super Cruise? When used properly, this system lets you experience the convenience and luxury of hands-free driving. For additional information and a demonstration of how it works, pay a visit to Heritage Cadillac today
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Im On A Divided And Compatible Highway Are There Any Other Limitations On Using Super Cruise
Super Cruise is not available when Teen Driver is active. Super Cruise will not brake the vehicle when approaching an intersection that is controlled by a traffic light or stop sign. Super Cruise will not detect vehicles crossing the road ahead, including at intersections, and will not automatically steer or brake to prevent a collision. You must manually brake and steer the vehicle. It is important that you always stay engaged and vigilant at all times while driving. Consult your Owners Manual for further limitations.
Cadillac Super Cruise Pricing
Super Cruise is a $2,500 option on the Escalade Sport Platinum test vehicle I sampled, which might seem like a considerable sum, but its a drop in the bucket on that SUVs $113,065 overall sticker price . On a long road trip it would be an interesting driving aide. I wont necessarily call it something that eases stress or allows you to relax, as youre still sort of driving the vehicle without actually driving it. I found myself second-guessing what other drivers were about to do, and I still wasnt entirely comfortable with how the Escalade was being driven it eased into a bend later than I would have and was just a little too close to that semi in the lane over than I think it should have been. All in all, however, its a remarkable achievement and the next logical step on the path toward fully autonomous vehicles sometime this decade.
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What Are The Requirements And Limitations
Super Cruise is only available on a series of thoroughly mapped highways that are programmed into the system. That said, to date, that equates to more than 320,000 kilometres worth of roadways in Canada and the United States, with more being added and uploaded to the system regularly. Still, in Canada, this means that the system generally works on major highways, not secondary ones on which only traditional cruise control is available to drivers. When Super Cruise is available, a blue light shows up on the steering wheel that turns green when activated.
The ability to execute safe lane changes on its own requires an array of additional sensors added to the exterior of my Escalade tester. In addition to sophisticated LiDAR mapping, there are both short- and long-range radar sensors to help measure distance. In the rear end alone, there are four different radar sensors, which means even a light parking lot tap could result in some serious repair costs.
Ultimately, the latest Super Cruise system is a well-executed bit of technology. It operates as promised, resulting in smooth, natural-feeling on-road operation resembling an astute and reasonably conscientious driver. Whats more, it complements Cadillacs advanced driver information, including its augmented reality display that overlays mapping directions on screen.
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How Cadillac Super Cruise Works
Introduced in 2017, Cadillac Super Cruise was the first of its kind to implement two advanced technologies: a driver attention system and precision LiDAR map data. Combined with a plethora of cameras and radar sensors, Super Cruise took semi-autonomous driving to another level by providing more information from the road to the vehicle and, ultimately, to the driver.
Activating Super Cruise is simple and intuitive. As long as adaptive cruise control is enabled, Super Cruise can be used. Its icon will appear in white on the instrument cluster to indicate the system is ready. Press the dedicated Super Cruise steering wheel-mounted button and if the IP symbol illuminates green along with the light bar embedded within the steering wheel, your hands are free to move about the cabin. But your eyes must remain on the road.
A small camera affixed to the topside of the steering column continually monitors the driver. Utilizing infrared lights, this monitoring system can track whether you are watching the road ahead or streaming cute pet videos, regardless of the ambient lighting within the car. By comparison, semi-autonomous driver assistance systems offered by other automakers rely on steering wheel inputs and warning messages to address driver attentiveness. A tactile-reliant system can, unfortunately, open itself up to loopholes for those really intent on not driving.
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Cadillac Updates Its Super Cruise Technology
Announcing Super Cruise, the industrys first true hands-free driving technology. #CT6
Hands-free driving quickly became a reality for many consumers when Super Cruise technology debuted in 2017 on the 2018 Cadillac CT6. According to Car and Driver, the Super Cruise feature made the CT6 into a semi-autonomous vehicle, driving itself on highways.
Super Cruise technology works on a highway network system throughout the country, which has been specially mapped by Cadillac. As Super Cruise is not designed to handle intricate maneuvers, it is only designed to work on divided highways. When activated, Super Cruise drives the car without assistance from the driver.
The last few years have given Cadillac the chance to update and innovate its Super Cruise technology. By the end of 2020, the world will see an updated version of Super Cruise technology that is somehow even better than before.
Not just able to excel, brake, and maintain its lane, Super Cruise will now be updated to include automated lane change. Super Cruise will use new rear-facing sensors to determine appropriate space when changing lanes. Super Cruises GPS and LiDAR mapping precision is also extended to now include 200,000 drivable highways.
What Are Its Limitations
Motorists can only use Super Cruise if theyre traveling on a highway that Cadillac has mapped. The map above shows compatible roads in the United States. The green lines represent the original 130,000 miles of highways Cadillac mapped before launching the system in 2017, and the blue lines denote roads added since.
Keep in mind Super Cruise doesnt turn a Cadillac into an autonomous car. While its a true hands-free system, the driver needs to pay attention to the road ahead and be ready to take over if something goes wrong. The company warns motorists to not use hands-free devices even if Super Cruise is engaged, and also points out that visibility, weather, and road conditions may affect how the system works. It also requires an OnStar plan and an active Wi-Fi hot spot, plus cell and GPS signals, so its not going to take you to a cabin in a remote part of the Wasatch mountain range.
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