Cadillac is working on updates to its Super Cruise autonomous driving system, Cadillac Society has exclusively learned.
The luxury automaker is currently testing a more advanced version of the Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system, as witnessed by two units of the Cadillac CT6 sedan driving around the Metro Detroit area. In both prototypes, the driver was asleep behind the wheel when the CT6 proceeded to exit the interstate. In fact, we would describe the first sighting as the driver being in deep, REM-stage sleep, with the mouth open and eyes completely shut. In both cases, the drivers had their hands off the steering wheel and the vehicle didn’t feature any visible hardware differences.
The fact that the drivers of both vehicles were asleep and had their hands off the wheel is particularly noteworthy, since the current iteration of Super Cruise, itself a Level 2 autonomous driving system billed by Cadillac as a “true hands-free driver assistance feature for the freeway,” requires driver attention and does not permit either of the aforementioned behaviors.
We’ve heard whispers of Cadillac working on a more advanced version of Super Cruise. In September 2018, Cadillac’s parent company, General Motors, filed to trademark “Ultra Cruise” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The trademark filing states that the name will be used in conjunction with “computer software, cameras, ultrasonic sensors, global positioning system and radar object detectors for the semi-autonomous driving of motor vehicles.”
Hence, the only logical conclusion that we can come to at the moment is that a more advanced version of Super Cruise is in the works. The system might be called Ultra Cruise, as per the trademark filing, and will likely have Level 3 autonomous driving features.
For its part, Super Cruise will soon become available on more than 200,000 miles of limited-access freeways in the U.S. and Canada, up from 130,000 miles that it launched with thanks to a recently-announced 70,000-mile expansion. What’s more, availability of the system will soon be expanded beyond the CT6 to other Cadillac models, including the CT5 and CT4.