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William Maley

Cadillac News: Mixed Messages As To When Cadillac's Super Cruise Will Come Out

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In light of the fatal crash involving a Tesla Model S and Autopilot back in May, automakers are reconsidering their plans for rolling out their autonomous technologies. General Motors was planning to introduce Super Cruise on the Cadillac CT6 sometime next year. But in light of Tesla crash, GM is rethinking their plans.

“We aren’t putting a specific date on it,” said GM CEO Mary Barra at a cybersecurity conference.

Officials told The Detroit Bureau later on that the feature would still appear next year. This would be corroborated by a Cadillac spokesman to Motor Trend.

“Right now, the plan continues to be that we will introduce [super Cruise] in the Cadillac CT6 in calendar year 2017,” said Cadillac spokesman Donny Nordlicht.

“We want to make sure it is safe for our customers to use and we’ll launch it when we’re confident in the technology,” Nordlicht said. “Our engineers have been testing and validating the technology for the past several years to make sure all of our systems are focused on providing the customer among the most intuitive and safe solutions. We’re not driven by a deadline, we’re driven to make the system customer-friendly and safe so the exact month of introduction cannot be announced at this time.”

Insiders at GM believe that Super Cruise should be able to avoid some of the problems that plague Tesla's Autopilot. Like Autopilot, Super Cruise blends information from radar and cameras. But Super Cruise will also use a high-definition map that provides more details than what you can get on a current navigation system. This map will help the system determine where the vehicle is and whether it is safe to engage the system. There is also a retina detection system that monitors the driver and will switch off Super Cruise if it detects if the driver isn't paying attention.

Source: The Detroit Bureau, Motor Trend

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Doesn't matter how long they delay it.


Every automaker will probably have far larger unit sales of models equipped with this technology, and we'll find Cadillac's, Volvos, Mercs and others in crashes with their semi-auto driving aids enabled eventually too.

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The real issue here is none of these systems are fool proof. Or should I say idiot proof. 


First off they may do well but it is easy to say that no system has seen all conditions yet as that would be difficult in the short time they have been testing them. Even the sensors on my GMC now have many false alerts. 


Then you factor in the idiot behind the wheel. You can call the system super cruise, driver assist or what ever and some idiot will take advantage of it to become even more distracted and not be in position to take control when something does go wrong. 

Even on air planes they have two pilots with one on watch and enough alarms and time to catch what ever happens. Here you have one person and if distracted they will fail to catch the issue at hand. When you this low to the ground and in close proximity you have little to no time. 


So when these systems arrive they need to be idiot proof. Imagine getting tens of thousands of these cars out and then finding an issue you may have not found before production. Then how do you deal with all the cars out there. This would be worse than the ignition deal especially if people were killed even in small numbers. 


This is a system that has to make the legal departments at MFG lay awake at night. 


GM has no margin of error here. Even if it slows the arrival of these systems down I would not be unhappy as I expect issues to arrive with the first adopters and it is better if they are forced to deal with them. GM s just earning its rep back and got off easy on the ignitions. No need to rush things and have a Headless Harry Potter fan on your hands. 

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These semi-autonomous driving systems and automatic braking or lane keep assist also save a lot of lives.  How many times have these driver aides prevented a crash because the idiot driver was't paying attention.  So yes there are some times when the auto-pilot fails and there is a crash like with the recent Tesla crashes.  But there are probably more cases that the system saved a life that we don't hear about.  Either way though the driver still needs to be aware of what is going on and pay attention.

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There's plenty of car crashes that have happened where like a witness like a passenger can attest to the driver being fully responsible and doing everything right - like ALL parties involved, and yet someone still ends up unable to eat breakfast because they just can't wake up.


And I bet the frequency of those crashes is probably much higher than some renegade autonomous driving aids gone wrong.

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