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Cadillac Will Offer Super Cruise ADAS on All Models

by Nathan Eddy
Luxury American carmaker Cadillac -- a division of General Motors -- is expanding the rollout of a hands-free advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) feature Super Cruise.

The Super Cruise platform deploys Liar-based map data, GPS, a driver attention system and a network of camera and radar sensors to keep the car on the road.

Available on all Cadillac models beginning in 2020, Super Cruise will then make its way to GM brands later.

Super Cruise requires an active OnStar service plan with emergency services to function, and can only be used on limited-access freeways in the US and Canada.

When on approved highways -- Cadillac claims there are 130,000 miles of them -- a white Super Cruise symbol will appear in the instrument cluster, indicating the service is available to use.

Among the numerous cautionary measures imbued in the platform, Super Cruise can engage only when adaptive cruise control (ACC) is on and when the forward collision system is set to alert and brake.

In addition, the system will only engage if it knows the camera or radar sensors are not covered, obstructed or damaged, and whether or not the driver appears attentive -- Cadillac has installed "proprietary head tracking software" to remind drivers to keep their eyes on the road.

The company also took pains to note Super Cruise cannot change lanes independently and will not steer to avoid safety situations, objects or road impediments.

"It's the only truly hands-free highway driving system on the road," Mark Reuss, GM's executive vice president of global product development, purchasing and supply chain, boasted at the Intelligent Transportation Society conference on Wednesday. "It's a feature that customers routinely come into dealerships asking about, shopping for and specifically ordering."

The expanded rollout is all part of the company's plan to stay competitive in the ADAS feature market. Cadillac first introduced vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications on its CTS sedan in 2017.

The communications platform uses Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) technology, which transmits anonymized data, including the location, speed and acceleration of a vehicle, several times per second.

With that data, nearby cars can be made aware if the vehicle is stalled, stopped in traffic or about to enter a blind intersection, among other things.

Using V2X, compatible vehicles can be notified of hazardous road conditions, traffic light statuses, changing work zones and more, and with a range of nearly 1,000 feet, drivers can be alerted to possible threats in time to avoid a crash.

The connectivity of vehicles and infrastructure systems (V2I) is seen as a critical step to an intelligent transportation system that can optimize traffic flows and reduce congestion.

For example, V2I-enabled red lights won't hold up traffic when they're not needed, and real-time traffic updates will help further reduce congestion.

Earlier this month, the SoftBank Vision Fund announced it would invest up to $2.25 billion in Cruise Automation, GM's autonomous vehicle subsidiary. GM stepped up at the same time with an additional pledge of $1.1 billion.

Nathan Eddy is a filmmaker and freelance journalist based in Berlin. Follow him on Twitter @dropdeaded209_LR.

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