Announced in April as a new add-on feature in the 2018 Cadillac CT6 , the Super Cruise system is claimed as "the first true hands-free driving technology for the highway." In addition to the already existing cameras and sensors in the CT6, the new system adds two technologies - a driver attention system and LiDAR map data - to ensure safe operation.
The system was demonstrated live - on a California highway - on business news cable channel CNBC:
Whenever Super Cruise is engaged, a small camera located on the top of the steering column tracks the driver's head position to determine where the driver is looking. If the system determines that the driver has turned attention away from the road for too long, it will prompt the driver using both visual, audible, and tactile alerts.
In the event of an unresponsive driver, the system will bring the vehicle to a controlled stop and automatically contact OnStar, if needed.
The LiDAR-scanned map database - along with data from cameras and GPS sensors - limits Super Cruise system use, enabling it only in areas where appropriate road conditions are detected. The system is restricted to use on divided, limited-access highways — highways with defined on- and off-ramps.
Specifically developed for use with Super Cruise, the precision map includes detailed data for every mile of limited-access highway in the U.S. and Canada.
According to Barry Walkup, chief engineer of Cadillac Super Cruise, "American drivers travel twice as many miles on urban and suburban highways as they do on rural roads. Super Cruise allows hands-free driving and operates only within the environment where it has the most benefit."
"While it is technically possible for the technology to drive hands-free on other kinds of streets and roads, we feel strongly that this targeted approach is the best to build consumer and regulatory confidence and enthusiasm for advanced mobility."
Super Cruise is expected to be