The Cadillac brand of Detroit’s General Motors Co. today announced it will be introducing an enhanced version of its Super Cruise driver assist feature as an option, starting with the 2021 CT4 and CT5 models, followed by the all-new 2021 Escalade, in the second half of 2020.
Among the enhancements will be automated lane change functionality, which will allow the hands-free system to change lanes on compatible highways when requested by the driver and certain conditions are met.
“This is our most extensive update we’ve made to Super Cruise since its debut,” says Mario Maiorana, chief engineer on the Super Cruise program. “We have made a number of improvements to make Super Cruise more intuitive, better performing, and more accessible for our customers. In addition to the automated lane change functionality, we’ve made improvements to the user interface and hands-free driving dynamics.”
The upgrades to Super Cruise were made possible by GM’s all-new digital vehicle platform, which provides more electrical bandwidth and data processing power.
When Super Cruise is engaged, drivers either can 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 the other 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,” says Maiorana. “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.”
Super Cruise’s advanced technologies, including precision LiDAR map data and real time GPS, help to provide a detailed understanding of the surrounding road to determine allowable automated lane change maneuvers. An array of camera and radar sensors will continuously scan around the vehicle to determine if an acceptable opening exists, allowing the vehicle to complete the lane change. The combination of these technologies and Super Cruise’s driver attention system ensures a confident execution of the automated lane change.
In addition to automated lane change, other Super Cruise enhancements include updates designed to improve performance and ease-of-use. Updates include the addition of improved map information to enable automated lane change and improved functionality through turns and highway interchanges, and improved software for better steering and speed control.