Google’s not the only company working on cars that drive themselves. On Friday, General Motors announced that it has its own self-driving car tech in the works for Cadillac, called Super Cruise.
Compared to Google’s self-driving cars, which can hold their own on highways and city streets alike, Cadillac’s self-driving cars aren’t as autonomous. As the name suggests, Super Cruise is like an enhanced version of highway cruise control. Under ideal conditions, the car handles steering, braking and lane centering on its own while the driver goes hands-free.
Super Cruise uses a combination of radar, ultrasonic sensors, cameras and GPS data, and it works in bumper-to-bumper traffic as well as open roads. It’s largely based on Cadillac’s Driver Assist technology–available in some 2013 vehicles–that can automatically stop the car at low speeds before an impending collision.
GM’s plan for autonomous cars seems gradual, keeping in mind that not everyone’s ready to trust machines to drive. “We are not about taking control away from the driver,” Don Butler, Vice President of Cadillac Marketing, said in an explainer video. “We always want the driver engaged and involved with the experience, but we want to enhance their ability when they’re in those situations.”
Not me. I’m ready for fully-autonomous cars right now.
Unfortunately, Google hasn’t said when it expects its self-driving car tech to be ready for the masses. As for GM, Cadillac’s Super Cruise could be ready by 2015, but that may have as much to do with the legality of autonomous cars as with the technology itself. So far, Nevada is the only state to establish regulations for self-driving vehicles.