Cadillac will introduce a major upgrade to its Super Cruise driver assistance tech as an option for the 2021 CT4, CT5, and Escalade. The system will now be able to change lanes upon the driver's request.
"This is our most extensive update we’ve made to Super Cruise since its debut," Mario Maiorana, Super Cruise chief engineer, said in the announcement about this upgrade. "We have made a number of improvements to make Super Cruise more intuitive, better performing and more accessible for our customers. In addition to the automated lane change functionality, we’ve made improvements to the user interface and hands-free driving dynamics."
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Activating the system is easy. If the driver wants to change lanes, simply move the turn signal. From there, the sensors check whether the conditions are safe, and then the vehicle moves into the desired lane. Messages on the instrument cluster tell the person behind the wheel what's going on with alerts like "looking for an opening" or "changing lanes."
Gallery: 2018 Cadillac CT6 Super Cruise
To make this functionality possible, the company installs better rear-facing sensors and updated software. Improved map information even lets the system switch lanes through turns and highway interchanges.
There's bad news for folks who have the existing version of the Super Cruise tech though because Cadillac can't make the improved version available to current owners. Motor1.com reached out to the company about this, and we were told: "These enhancements were made possible using GM’s all-new digital vehicle platform, which provides more electrical bandwidth and data processing power. As a result, these enhancements will only be available going forward on vehicles built on that digital platform."
Cadillac To Roll Out Enhanced Super Cruise
Enhancements include addition of automated lane change functionally
Available first on Cadillac’s new sedans, the CT5 and CT4
An enhanced version of Super Cruise driver assistance feature, will be introduced starting on the 2021 Cadillac CT5 and CT4 and followed by the all-new 2021 Cadillac Escalade. Among the enhancements will be automated lane change functionality, which will allow the hands-free system to change lanes on compatible highways when requested by the driver and certain conditions are met.
“This is our most extensive update we’ve made to Super Cruise since its debut,” said Mario Maiorana, Super Cruise chief engineer. “We have made a number of improvements to make Super Cruise more intuitive, better performing and more accessible for our customers. In addition to the automated lane change functionality, we’ve made improvements to the user interface and hands-free driving dynamics.”
The enhancements to Super Cruise were made possible by General Motors’ all-new digital vehicle platform which provides more electrical bandwidth and data processing power.
Lane Change On Demand
When Super Cruise is engaged, the driver can either tap or fully latch the turn signal to indicate that they would like to change lanes. This will prompt the system to look for an acceptable opening in the indicated lane, while also taking time to let other cars know that a lane change is imminent. If the system determines that the indicated lane is open, the vehicle will merge into said lane. The driver attention system will continue to require the driver to focus on the surroundings during the lane change.
Upon initiation, the gauge cluster will display messages letting the driver know when the automated lane change has begun, or if lane change is unavailable and changing lanes must be manually completed by the driver. The system will display messages, such as “looking for an opening” or “changing lanes” to keep the driver informed on the status of the lane change.
“In order to add automated lane change and provide our customers with the same level of confidence that they currently have in Super Cruise, we made improvements to both our software and hardware,” said Maiorana. “This included improving rear-facing sensors and advanced software algorithms so that the system can confidently track vehicles approaching from the rear. As a result of these improvements, we are able to ensure that Super Cruise will hold in its current lane and only change when a sufficient gap exists.”
Super Cruise's advanced technologies, including precision LiDAR map data and real time GPS, help to provide a detailed understanding of the surrounding road to determine allowable automated lane change maneuvers. An array of camera and radar sensors will continuously scan around the vehicle to determine if an acceptable opening exists allowing the vehicle to complete the lane change. The combination of these technologies and Super Cruise's driver attention system ensures a confident execution of the automated lane change.
In addition to automated lane change, other Super Cruise enhancements include updates designed to improve performance and ease-of-use. Updates include:
Addition of richer map information to enable automated lane change and improved functionality through turns and highway interchanges
Improved software for better steering and speed control
Enhancements to make it easier and more intuitive for drivers to engage the system
These updates are just the latest and most significant in a series of enhancements made to Super Cruise since it launched in 2017. Most recently, Cadillac expanded the availability of Super Cruise to more than 200,000 total miles of compatible highways in the United States and Canada.
Enhanced Super Cruise, with automated lane change, will be an option on the 2021 CT4 and CT5 sedans and the 2021 Escalade when those vehicles become available in the second half of 2020.
For further information about Super Cruise and its operation, please visit www.cadillac.com/supercruise.