Super Cruise Brings Hands-Free Driving to 2018 CT6

Super Cruise™, the automotive industry’s first true hands-free driving technology for the freeway, is now available on the 2018 Cadillac CT6. (Fig. 1)


Fig. 1


By automatically steering the vehicle to maintain lane position (Fig. 2), it offers the convenience of hands-free driving for long-distance travels as well as daily commutes. Plus, its hands-free capability and driver attention system help the driver safely complete common tasks in the vehicle, such as using the navigation system, adjusting the audio system or taking a phone call.


Fig. 2


Unlike other driver assistance systems, Super Cruise uses two unique technology systems — a driver attention system and precision LiDAR map data — to ensure safe and confident vehicle operation. These systems are added to the network of cameras and radar sensors in the CT6 to provide a data-rich approach to driver assistance.


Super Cruise is available only on limited access freeways that are separated from opposing traffic. By focusing on freeway driving, the benefits of Super Cruise are available during a large part of many drivers’ daily routines in addition to long-distance travels. It eliminates variables such as intersections and other less predictable potential hazards that can be prevalent on rural roads or city streets.


How It Works


Super Cruise uses real-time corrections and precision map data to determine the vehicle’s location while the Lane Sensing Camera detects the marked lanes on the freeway to help the vehicle automatically steer and maintain lane position. The system works with Adaptive Cruise Control, which accelerates or brakes the vehicle based on surrounding traffic conditions, to maintain a driver-selected following time from a vehicle ahead, even in stop-and-go traffic conditions.


While Super Cruise is engaged, an escalating series of prompts lets the driver know if the Driver Attention System camera senses that more attention should be paid to the road ahead. (Fig. 3) The steering wheel light bar provides a status of system operation, including when the system is steering and when the driver needs to manually steer the vehicle. Super Cruise can be overridden at any time by steering, braking or accelerating.


Fig. 3


TIP: Super Cruise does not detect or steer through construction zones or steer to avoid any objects, such as other vehicles, animals, potholes, debris, and construction cones. It also does not steer the vehicle in reaction to vehicles next to the vehicle, steer to merge the vehicle into the appropriate lane of traffic or make lane changes.


Driver Attention System


The Driver Attention System uses a small camera located on the top of the steering column (Fig. 4) that focuses exclusively on the driver. It uses infrared lights to track head position to determine where the driver is looking whenever Super Cruise is in operation. The camera does not record pictures, sound or video.


Fig. 4


Existing driver assistance systems only rely upon steering wheel input and warning messages to request driver attention and control. Cadillac is the only manufacturer to monitor driver attention to the road ahead when Super Cruise is engaged.


If the system detects the driver has turned attention away from the road ahead for too long, it will prompt the driver to return attention to the road ahead through an escalation of alerts and warnings. If the system determines continued inattentiveness, a steering wheel light bar guides the driver to look at the road or take back control of the wheel. Additional alerts include visual indicators in the instrument cluster, activation of the Safety Alert Seat and audible alerts, if necessary. In the limited event of an unresponsive driver, the CT6 uses the full capability of onboard driver assistance technologies to bring the car to a controlled stop and contact OnStar to alert first responders, if necessary.


Precision LiDAR Map Data


Super Cruise is the first driving technology that uses precision LiDAR map data in addition to real-time Global Positioning System (GPS) sensing, a network of cameras, and a number of driver assistance system sensors. The real-time data provided by the cameras and sensors govern steering, braking and acceleration.


Super Cruise adds to this formula using advanced laser technology in development for future autonomous vehicles: a LiDAR-scanned map database. Combined with the real-time data from cameras and GPS sensors, the precision map database restricts system use to divided, limited access freeways accessible only by defined entrance and exit ramps where appropriate road conditions are detected. The combination of real-time data with precision mapping also improves vehicle control through curves and hills.


The precision LiDAR map was developed specifically for Super Cruise. Engineers mapped every mile of limited-access freeway in the U.S. and Canada, providing detailed information to the vehicle about the road ahead. Paired with improved accuracy GPS, real-time location is measured four to eight times more precisely than traditional GPS.


Super Cruise map updates are automatically downloaded via the vehicle’s OnStar Wi-Fi hotspot. The Wi-Fi option should always be turned on. Go to Settings > Wi-Fi. Super Cruise will be disabled if the map reaches seven months old. The latest Super Cruise map also will be available to dealerships to upload to the vehicle.


Super Cruise Availability


Super Cruise only can be engaged when:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control is on.
  • Forward Automatic Braking is set to Alert and Brake. Go to Settings > Vehicle > Collision/Detection Systems > Forward Collision System.
  • The vehicle is on a limited-access freeway.
  • Camera or radar sensors are not obstructed or damaged.
  • Lane markings are clearly visible.
  • Driver attention is detected.
  • Teen Driver is not active.


To engage Super Cruise, press the Adaptive Cruise Control button (Fig. 5, B) on the steering wheel to turn on Adaptive Cruise Control. When the Super Cruise symbol illuminates in white on the instrument cluster (indicating Super Cruise is available), press the Super Cruise button (Fig. 5, A) on the steering wheel. When the Super Cruise symbol and steering wheel light bar are green, the driver may release the steering wheel.


Fig. 5


Steering Wheel Light Bar


When Super Cruise is not engaged, the light bar is not visible on the steering wheel and the Super Cruise symbol on the instrument cluster is not illuminated. When Super Cruise is engaged, the steering wheel light bar and Super Cruise symbol indicate system status. (Fig. 6)


TIP: If the driver takes control of the steering wheel AND presses the brake pedal, Super Cruise and Adaptive Cruise Control will disengage.


Fig. 6


– Thanks to Katul Patel and Blake Streling



Service Know-How
Questions and Answers on Super Cruise

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