An enhanced version of the Super Cruise driver assistance feature will be introduced on the 2021 Cadillac CT5 and CT4, and on the all-new 2021 Cadillac Escalade.
All three vehicles will become available in the second half of 2020. 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 the 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.
Cadillac says that when Super Cruise is engaged, the driver can either tap or fully engage 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,” continued 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 technologies, including 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 is designed to ensure 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. These include richer map information to enable automated lane change and improved functionality through turns and highway interchanges; improved software for better steering and speed control; and enhancements to make it easier and more intuitive for drivers to engage the system.
Cadillac says that these updates are the latest and most important in a series of enhancements made to Super Cruise since it launched in 2017. Most recently, it expanded the availability of Super Cruise to more than 200,000 total miles (320,000km) of compatible highways in the USA and Canada.