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Cadillac road testing semi-autonomous “Super Cruise” technology


April 23, 2012

Cadillac's "Super Cruise" semi-autonomous driving technology is currently undergoing road testing

Cadillac's "Super Cruise" semi-autonomous driving technology is currently undergoing road testing

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While much work is being done to bring autonomous vehicles to the roads, the closest most of us have yet got is cruise control, which has actually been around since the 1950s, appearing as “Auto-Pilot” in 1958 Chryslers and Imperials. Now Cadillac is looking to update things with road testing currently underway on a semi-autonomous technology dubbed “Super Cruise” that offers fully automatic steering, braking and lane-centering in highway driving – under certain conditions.

The Super Cruise technology relies on a combination of radar, ultrasonic sensors, cameras and GPS map data to provide semi-autonomous driving capabilities on the highway even in bumper-to-bumper traffic. The key to this is the use of lane-centering technology that uses forward-looking cameras to detect lane markings, together with GPS map data to detect curves and other characteristics in the road.

Super Cruise builds on many technologies already available as part of its Driver Assist Package in the 2013 Cadillac XTS and ATS sedans that come together to provide what Cadillac claims is 360-degree crash risk detection and enhanced driver assist features. These include rear automatic braking, forward collision alert, full-speed range adaptive cruise control, safety seat alert, automatic collision preparation, lane departure warning and side blind zone alert.

Cadillac hopes to have Super Cruise technology ready for its vehicles by mid-decade, but even when it does appear drivers won’t be able to catch some shut-eye on long trips. As the technology is limited by external factors such as weather conditions and the visibility of lane markings, drivers will have to take the wheel when the system can’t gather reliable information.

Source: GM

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

Incredible technology.

Would be nice to see the other end of the spectrum. Why can't I get a nice car, that doesn't have to have an entire supercomputer network to run it?


"But, your honor, of course it was safe to be texting; I had my car on auto-pilot. It's not my fault that my car ran down that pedestrian crossing the street."

Bob Strong

Hey VoiceofReason.

I have a nice Yugo I can sell you cheap. No computers and motor doesn't work either.

Benjamin Wade

re; Benjamin Wade

If you would have performed the required maintenance the engine wouldn't have died with the timing belt.


my 1989 Audi Avant has all those features and more, it is called a focused driver behind the wheel, just waiting for one these cars to leave some moron stopped on railroad tracks or running over someone in a crosswalk

Bill Bennett

Ben, I said a nice car. Like a Cadillac that doesn't need more computing power than an F-16.

I know I'm a breed apart. Always hated a lot of so called luxury features. Anyone not capable of rolling up a window, shouldn't be driving.


Voice of reason i hear you. My luxury sedan completely disabled itself and had to be towed back to be reactivated out of safe mode cos tried to replace the radio without having a laptop plugged into it. Cost more than my new radio to switch my car back on. Apparently sudden changes in voltage (disconnecting the battery) caused it to protect itself from me. The power windows would disable until i replace a blown head light. VAGCOM is what you need. Since my boyracer days are over i tuned that nanny computer into high efficiency. That hated computer became my friend once it started listening to me. The repetitive BONG! "warning speed limit exceeded!" i could finally turn off.


When I turn on the frontal lights (or however these are called) my car thinks it's at night and dims the console brightness. The result is: I can't see the console when I turn on the lights on a sunny day at the freeway, which is obligatory in Argentina. And the console's manual brightness control range is much lower than the automatic dimming so I am screwed!


So, Cadillac (GM's flagship) is testing systems similar to what Europeans already have in the Passat and other models? Does anyone remember the US DoD's DARPA project for autonomous vehicles, with a race from LA to Las Vegas and a $1 Million prize for un-manned cars? MIT dropped out after a few years. Cal Tech didn't win. It wasn't Carnegie Mellon. Or GM or Ford. The first vehicle to complete the race was a VW Touareg SUV. And that was years ago!

The European VWs will park parallel or perpendicular to the road. The Lexus can park itself, except if the road is on a hill, or a tilt, or there is no curb, or if there is a stone on the road! (meaning its a useless gimmick) But America has something the Europeans don't have ... mega law suits. And that's why Europe has the cool tech, and we won't get it.

Brian Empey

@Brian Empey

Yes, I remember it. It wasn't MIT, it wasn't Cal Tech, it wasn't UCali, it wasn't Carnegie Melon. It wasn't GM or Ford.

IT WAS STANFORD UNIVERSITY, an American university.


I knew that it wasn't Volkswagon that did it, it was just their chosen pilot vehicle because of size, price, and simplicity.

Facebook User

Sheesh you couldn't just hire a chauffeur? They'll keep the car cleaned up and look after the maintenance too. Sneaky trick: find an illegal alien, your costs won't become unmanageable. (of course I am just kidding about all of this) (but other people aren't)

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