In-Car Tech

Cadillac to make America's only hands-free drive technology even smarter for 2021 model year

Super Cruise driver assistance technology is the only hands-free drive technology available in the U.S., despite claims from fans of other automakers.

Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Cadillac already offers the only hands-free driver assistance feature available on a vehicle in the U.S. For the 2021 model year, the company is enhancing Super Cruise adding, among other technology, automated lane change functionality. This new capability will allow users to achieve hands-free lane changes on compatible highways when they make a request and certain conditions are met.

The new technological enhancements are made possible by the new General Motors digital platform, which allows for more electrical bandwidth and data processing power.

2021 Cadillac Super Cruise The new technology will debut in the 2021 Cadillac CT4 and CT5, the company's new sedans.Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Here's how the lane change functionality works. According to Cadillac,

When Super Cruise is engaged, the driver can either tap or fully latch 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," said Mario Maiorana, Super Cruise chief engineer. "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."

Cadillac has made other improvements to the system including 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 easier and more intuitive Super Cruise functionality that allows drivers to more easily engage with the system.

Super Cruise launched in 2017 and currently is available for use on more than 200,000 miles of compatible highways in the U.S. and Canada.

Enhanced Super Cruise with automated lane change will be an option on the 2021 CT4 and CT5 sedans and the 2021 Escalade when those vehicles become available in the second half of 2020.

Photo courtesy of Cadillac

It was just last week that Cadillac was showing off its electrified powertrains and the future of its GMC, Buick, Chevrolet, and Cadillac brands during a media blitz. One key part of those plans was the planned April 2 introduction of the Cadillac Lyric, the brand's first all-electric vehicle.

On Monday, bowing to pressure from the public regarding the the spread of Covid-19, popularly called coronavirus, General Motors announced it was calling off the Lyric's planned unveiling.

There has not been a date announced for an unveiling in the future.

It is not likely that the unveiling cancellation will push back the production timeline of the vehicle. There is traditionally a several month cushion between the announcements and the start of vehicle production.

General Motors is one of the automakers that has begin curtailing travel of its employees. Ford and FCA have also taken steps to limit their employees travel nationwide.

Though it hasn't been unveiled, Cadillac has let some information slip about the Lyriq. They also recently told of a new $200,000 vehicle coming to its lineup in a few years.

The Cadillac Celestiq will be the automaker's new flagship sedan when it debuts, which likely won't be for a few years.

Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Cadillac has just announced the death of the CT6 and introduced the CT4 and CT5, but they're not done with the sedan shuffle. The company has made it known that the Cadillac Celestiq is on its way.

Unlike other models Cadillac has built for decades, the company is truly positing this car as a luxury model. Just hundreds of them will be hand-built each year in the Detroit area starting in mid-2022. Reporting by Mike Colias of the Wall Street Journal indicates that the cost of the Celestiq will be over $200,000.

2020 Cadillac CT6 Cadillac recently announced that it's ending production of the CT6.Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Yes, you read that right. A $200,000+ Cadillac. Surely that's the answer to a question no one has been asking outside of the Renaissance Center.

A top tier Porsche Panamera's starts just under $200,000.

The flagship hatchback (yes, you read that right) will run strictly on all-electric power. Motortrend has reported that the model will have black glass that runs from the windscreen to the rear hatch opening as well as a spacious interior,

A question worth asking: How many parts from the GM bin will the model share with lower priced cars? Only time will tell.

Cadillac is looking to put 20 electrified models on the road by 2023. Given that the current lineup includes just five vehicles, there's plenty of room for expansion. The company will debut the Lyriq electric SUV later this spring and has said that an Escalade EV is on the way in a few years.