Since its launch in 2017, General Motors’ semi-autonomous driver assist system, Super Cruise has only been found in one car, the Cadillac CT6 sedan. But now it’s 2020, the CT6 is no more, Super Cruise has undergone some improvements, and Cadillac is finally ready to roll it out on other models.
Super Cruise has now been “enhanced,” according to a Cadillac press release. This improvement includes automated lane change capabilities, which will let drivers change lanes on “compatible highways” while keeping their hands off the steering wheel. Super Cruise, if you’ll remember, allows you to use it without keeping your hands on the wheel at all times, as Tesla’s Autopilot requires. The tradeoff is Super Cruise watches you with a camera and will only work if it thinks you’re paying attention.
That camera viewing has been a bit flawed, and is part of why Super Cruise is getting an update.
The second half of this announcement concerns the rollout. We’ve criticized Cadillac in the past for not implementing Super Cruise on more models. At the time, Cadillac’s current head Steve Carlisle told us it was because Cadillac wasn’t “ready” to put the tech in more cars, such as the XT6, yet.
“If you think about where we are with our rollout cadence,” he said, “we have to consider, ‘Do we put Super Cruise in a product that’s getting close to the end of its life or do we put it in at the beginning of its life?’ This strategy reflects putting it in at the beginning of its life—not necessarily right at launch. We also want to consider the readiness of the technology.”
This was confusing and bad and made zero sense—especially when today we learn that Cadillac will offer Super Cruise as an option on the 2021 CT4 and CT5 sedans, as well as the 2021 Escalade.
Clearly, Super Cruise was ready enough for the CT6 to run around with for the past three years. And the CT4, CT5 and new Escalade are being launched now so... what exactly was Carlise talking about?
Anyway, the newly Super Cruise-enabled cars will be available in the second half of this year. When we tested it, we found the technology to be quite capable. It, along with Autopilot, are likely the best semi-autonomous functions available to consumers today.
And here’s your obligatory reminder that Super Cruise and Autopilot are not self-driving tech. Nobody has achieved that yet, so please do not treat them as such.