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What Makes Cadillac's Super Cruise System Better Than the Competition?

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【Summary】Cadillac introduced the Super Cruise system last year and announced that the feature will be made available in all vehicles by 2020. The system currently takes on hands-free driving duties in the company’s CT6 Saloon.

Manish Kharinta    Jun 24, 2018 9:00 AM PT
What Makes Cadillac's Super Cruise System Better Than the Competition?

The luxury car division of General Motors, Cadillac was very cautious about the introduction of its Super Cruise hands-free technology. The carmaker believes its new driver assist technology is a worthy contender against the autopilot system offered in Tesla EVs. Tesla without wasting any time introduced Autopilot feature in its offerings in a beta-like version. 

GM decided to improve the feature by constantly monitoring and gathering data to develop system updates which will make the tech more effective. Cadillac on the other hand, took it time and only introduced Super Cruise last year. The company also announced that the feature will be made available in all vehicles by 2020. The system currently takes on hands-free driving duties in the Cadillac CT6 Saloon.

The company hails the Super Cruise technology as the first fully hands-free highway driving tech. Super Cruise is a driver assist system and not a completely autonomous driving feature. It can be described as an advanced version of adaptive cruise control which is offered with automated steering. Cadillac has strictly defined the rules of operating Super Cruise and has stated that it should only be used on dual highways and not in situations with oncoming traffic and on-ramp and off-ramp access.

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The system also requires ancillary features like forward collision system, adaptive cruise control, cameras and radar sensors are active and not damaged. The company also says that the system should only be used in situations where lane markings are clearly visible and not obscured by poor weather conditions, such as rain and snow.

Cadillac also goes on to mandate that the driver must remain attentive while operating the feature and the 'teen driver' feature is turned off. To ensure that the driver is paying attention the Super Cruise system also comes with a steering column mounted camera which can detect if the driver is not paying attention. 

If the system detects that the driver is not monitoring the technology, it will flash color-coded warning signals and If these warnings are constantly ignored the system will also buzz the driver seat and sound a voice command, asking the driver to take control.

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If the driver continues to exhibit negligent behavior, the system will slow the vehicle down eventually, bringing it to a complete stop and will call General Motors' safety and communication software division, OnStar. 

The Super Cruise system works very much like Tesla's autopilot and delivers a very linear performance except for the occasional insignificant lag when the lane keeping data is being processed.

Adding to the credibility of Cadillac's Super Cruise system are the limitations that the company has imposed on its use. The company has not declared this technology as the next step in autonomous driving and instead has concentrated on making it the optimum hands-free driver aid in the market today.

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