Cruise control technology has come a long way. Cadillac’s new Super Cruise is the industry’s first true hands-free driving technology for the highway. Early cruise controls introduced decades ago were sort of neat. Set the speed and just cruise. If you ran into traffic you had to fuss with coasting or brake and resume. With today’s traffic in many places it could be more fuss than cruise.
Super Cruise uses LiDAR-based mapping, cameras, and real-time sensors to remove the fuss and it will even give you a nudge if it thinks you are not paying attention. This real-time data and precision mapping allows control of steering, braking and acceleration.
This system is designed to be used on divided, limited access highways. Engineers have mapped every mile of these highways in the US and Canada. This precision LiDAR map combined with improved GPS can measure real-time location four to eight times better than traditional GPS.
The automatic lane-centering and automatic control of speed allows the driver to complete distracting tasks like using the navigation system, adjusting the audio system, or taking phone calls. With all this convenience and comfort you might think it would be easy to not keep your mind on driving the car. Not so with this system.
The driver attention feature of this system uses a small camera that is located on the top of the steering column that focuses exclusively on the driver. It works with infrared lights to track the head position to determine where the driver is looking. If the system thinks you have turned attention away from the road for too long a steering wheel light bar will alert you. It can also alert using indicators in the instrument cluster, tactile alerts in the seat and audible alerts. In an emergency if the driver remains unresponsive the system is capable of bringing the vehicle to a controlled stop and contacting OnStar to send emergency personnel.
Who Knew? Super Cruise – taking cruise control to a whole new level of comfort and safety.
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