Cadillac’s autonomous car coming in 2017

Cadillac’s autonomous car on the roads of 2017

While Google is already widely known for its breakthroughs in connected car technology and on the road experiments with driver-less cars, mainstream automakers also want to take the helm of the future of car technology. Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Nissan, all invested blood, sweat and tears to pull this through. Now, General Motors, with Tesla Model S and the new almost autonomous car Cadillac announced for 2017, follow suit.

Cadillac has confirmed its belief in the safety and wider horizons opened by the connected car technology, which we will see on the market starting with 2017. The announcement was made by General Motors Company’s CEO, Mary Barra, this september at the Intelligent Transport System (ITS) World Congress in Detroit.

The Cadillac Autonomous Car. The future arrives.

As Mary Barra states, GM are “impatient for the future to arrive”. They believe in the safety connected car technologies can offer and they want the future to take place here and now. So, it starts with Cadillac.

Although it won’t be a fully automated self-driving car, its features are heading in the direction of an autonomous car. The new technology arriving in 2 years will be all about “intelligent and connected”. Initially, it will appear on 2 models: the all-new Cadillac model, possibly the upcoming flagship sedan, and the other will possibly be the 2017 CTS.

Cadillac’s autonomous car will offer Cadillac’s Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system, and it will promote Vehicle-to-Vehicle(V2V) and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure(V2I) communication technology. Mary Barra showed that this is all a step in the good direction. V2V communication will mean reduced crashes and threats on the road  and V2I communication will be a step towards avoiding traffic congestion. So, “it will give drivers peace of mind”.

“One of the most if not the most intelligent and connected production vehicle”

This is how Mary Barbara describes Cadillac’s autonomous car. Super Cruise, the working name for GM’s self-driving technology, will be implemented. It is similar to Mercedes-Benz’s existing Sterring Assistant semi-autonomous system. What will this allow the driver?

Though it won’t be a driver-less car (we might spot one on the road in just about 2 decades), it will allow hands-off lane following, braking and speed control in specific highway driving conditions and traffic jams. The system has a computer in which sensors that include radar, cameras and GPS mapping data are compiled. These can control the vehicle via existing electronic steering and braking systems.

However, when the Super Cruise system won’t be able to collect any reliable data due to weather, traffic conditions and visibility, the driver will be prompted to take control of the steering wheel. The system has been under development for several years and it’s a step ahead of adaptive cruise control, which accelerates and brakes a car on the highway, but does not steer.

Also, the V2V technology is a great achievement. Vehicles can exchange information within them. Data such as location, speed and direction of travel sent and received by vehicles approaching one another can vouch for safety. Drivers will be warned beforehand and they can promptly activate safety features, such as forward collision warning and automatic braking systems.

The future of Cadillac’s autonomous car

The Super Cruise system will help GM compete with the Mercedes S class, which already puts into use early-stage autonomous driving technologies. Cadillac is on its way of entering and taking part in the future of car technology. Do you think it has what it takes to be a success?

Philipp Kandal