The car will stop, however, if you take your eyes off the road for too long.

Super Cruise isn’t some special week-long vacation to the Bahamas for folks who buy a new 2018 Cadillac CT6 this fall. It’s the automaker’s response to Tesla’s Autopilot, offering drivers a hands-free option for use on limited-access highways. Hands-free doesn’t mean attention-free, however, and to make sure drivers keep their eyes forward and open, Cadillac has all kinds of checks and balances which include stopping the car completely. More on that in a moment.

Cadillac touts its Super Cruise as the first “true” hands-free system for the highway. That’s a dubious statement considering there are videos all over the internet of Tesla’s Model S carrying on down the highway without human intervention. The difference here is a technical one – Tesla always told drivers to keep their hands on the wheel, then updated the system to require just that. Cadillac has no such requirement; instead the CT6 uses cameras to make sure drivers keep their eyes on the road, where they belong.

“When we were developing Super Cruise we knew it was important to keep the driver engaged during operation. That’s why we’ve added a driver attention function, to insist on driver supervision,” said Barry Walkup, chief engineer of Cadillac Super Cruise, in a press release on the feature. 

2018 Cadillac CT6 Super Cruise
2018 Cadillac CT6 Super Cruise

When Super Cruise is engaged, the system will prompt drivers to return focus to the road if attention is elsewhere for too long. If that doesn’t happen, a series of escalating alerts that include visual cues, audible demands, and tactile warnings in the seat will tell the driver to pay attention. At no point will Super Cruise disengage – If the driver still doesn’t respond after the bevy of alerts, the car will bring itself “to a controlled stop” and alert OnStar “if necessary.”

Cadillac’s Super Cruise uses LiDAR technology along with on-board cameras, sensors, and GPS data to guide the car along. The system will only activate in areas deemed appropriate, which for now is restricted to limited-access highway use. The manufacturer says engineers mapped every kilometre of every highway in both the U.S. and Canada to provide an extremely detailed LiDAR map for the system.

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“Super Cruise is a more technologically advanced hands-free driving solution, which in terms of capability, integration, and validation is uniquely focused on customer convenience and safety,” said Johan de Nysschen, president of Cadillac.

Super Cruise will be an option exclusive to the 2018 Cadillac CT6, available this fall for U.S. and Canadian markets.

Source: Cadillac

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