Cadillac begins 16-state test tour of hands-free driving

Cadillac CT6 will debut autonomous driving technology for 2018 model year

Published: September 25, 2017, 2:30 PM
Updated: September 30, 2017, 5:29 AM

Super Cruise hands free driving

Super Cruise Cadillac CT6 in New York

Cadillac is going across the USA to promote its hands-free driving technology called Super Cruise, which GM calls the world’s first true hands-free driving system for the highway.

A fleet of 12 Cadillac CT6s, driven by key stakeholders and select media, set off from Cadillac House in New York City for 16 states’ worth of highway driving, plus Washington DC, by the time they drive into Los Angeles.

Super Cruise activation button

“Cadillac is setting new industry standards with ground-breaking driver assistance technologies like Super Cruise, the world’s first true hands-free driving system for the freeway,” said Johan de Nysschen, Cadillac president. “We are excited to bring Super Cruise, a true testament to Cadillac’s innovative spirit and technical capability, on its first-ever hands-free drive on freeways from coast to coast.”

The program marks the first time the Super Cruise system will be used on New York freeways, and will make stops in Cleveland, Chicago, Memphis, Dallas, Santa Fe and Phoenix.

2018 Cadillac CT6

“We are proud to work hand-in-hand with government officials to continue to develop new technologies that will define the future of transportation in the U.S.,” said de Nysschen. “It’s especially fitting to kick off this drive in New York City, the home of Cadillac’s new global headquarters, and we’re honored to have the support of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, both of whom foster New York’s leadership in innovation and cutting-edge technology.”

Super Cruise Cadillac CT6s set off from New York

“Revolutions in transportation were at the heart of New York’s original rise to national prominence and economic prosperity, and this cross-country demonstration continues that tradition,” added Hochul. “By changing state law to allow automated vehicle testing, and partnering with Cadillac to bring its headquarters to New York City, Governor Cuomo has positioned New York State to take the lead in the development of the driverless/hands-free technology that is rapidly transforming the automotive industry.”

Super Cruise driver attention sensor

As a requirement for hands-free driving, an automated vehicle must have an alert driver in control. Cadillac uses a driver attention system to make sure the driver is alert and watching the road, and a LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) mapping system, which uses pulsed lasers to measure variable distances for precise analysis of the area around the vehicle in real time. Cadillac says the combination adds a new level of technology and intuitive control to automated driving on the highway.

Super Cruise steering wheel - A steering wheel light bar and cluster icons indicate the status of Super Cruise, prompting the driver to return attention to the road ahead, turning red if the system detects driver attention has turned away from the road too long. Super Cruise is active when green light bar is on. 

Hands-free, driver assisted motor vehicle operation is allowed on about 210,000 km of limited access, divided highways in the US.

The Super Cruise technology will debut on the 2018 CT6.