Existing Super Cruise roadways (green) and additional roads (blue)
Cadillac began offering its Super Cruise self-driving system as an option on the 2018 CT6 sedan. The system is intended for use on roads which have been mapped using a high-definition LiDAR system (a laser-based equivalent to radar). Originally 130000 miles of roadways in North America were included. All of these are ‘controlled access’ highways (think interstates with on and off-ramps). As part of the system, Cadillac uses a camera to monitor the driver to make for a robust hand-off of control to and from the self-driving system - while without requiring the driving keep hands on the wheel at regular intervals.
Recent Super Cruise news has been the addition of Super Cruise availability on the new CT5 sedan. But, today we have found out that development has not been limited to just adding the hardware to the new model. Before the end of 2019, Cadillac will add an additional 70000 miles of available roadways to the system. Existing CT6 customers will merely need to schedule a visit to their dealer to get the software update - which also includes changes in system behavior that are responses to customer feedback (including causing the car to drift slightly wide of large trucks when passing - rather than staying centered in the lane and making owners nervous about being so close to a large vehicle).
Fortunately, CT5 buyers will be able to get updates to their system in the future via over-the-air updates - though we expect the updated driving behavior and expanded roadway network will be part of their initial Super Cruise version.
See the Cadillac demo video below and the press release at the bottom:
Cadillac is expanding the availability of Super Cruise™1 to an additional 70,000 miles of compatible, divided highways in the United States and Canada. This expansion will make the industry’s first true hands-free driver assistance feature available on more than 200,000 total miles of compatible highways by the fourth quarter of 2019.
To date, Super Cruise has been available on more than 130,000 miles of limited-access freeways. The expansion builds on Super Cruise’s unique combination of precision LiDAR map data, high-precision GPS, a state-of-the-art Driver Attention System and a network of camera and radar sensors. Some of the divided highways added will include limited intersections and traffic control devices. In the cases of railroad crossings, pedestrian crossings, stoplights or stop signs, Super Cruise will alert drivers to take back control of the vehicle. As always, it remains important for drivers to stay engaged and vigilant at all times while Super Cruise is engaged.
To enable the expanded functionality, an enhancement to the Super Cruise system will be available to 2018 and 2019 model year Cadillac CT6 owners through their Cadillac dealer. Following the completion of the system enhancement, the new, additional map miles will be sent to customer vehicles over the air throughout the summer and fall.
In addition to the mileage expansion, the software update will also include performance improvements, enhancements to increase Super Cruise availability and enhancements to the Driver Attention System.
“We are constantly working to make Super Cruise the most beneficial system for our customers,” said Mario Maiorana, Super Cruise chief engineer. “Expanding our offering of compatible highways will allow people the ease and convenience of traveling hands-free more often.”
Last year, Cadillac made updates to its Super Cruise driver assistance feature based on customer feedback, including making Super Cruise activation easier for the driver and adding dynamic lane offset so that a CT6 with Super Cruise activated can adjust slightly over in its lane for driver comfort when passing large vehicles. Gauge cluster messages were also added, to inform drivers why Super Cruise may be not be available in certain instances.
Customers have traveled 2.5 million miles using Super Cruise since its launch. Super Cruise is currently available on the 2018 and 2019 model year Cadillac CT6 and will be available on the 2020 model year CT6 later this year. Super Cruise will be available on Cadillac’s all-new CT5 sedan next year.
* This article was originally published here