For certain 2017 model year vehicles, Cadillac will start offering advanced vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications and semi-automated driving features. Cadillac is entering a competitive field as other luxury car makers like Mercedes and Audi compete to become leaders in autonomous vehicles.
The heart and soul of this semi-autonomous driving package is called Super Cruise, which will allow for hands-off driving for certain highway conditions. Super Cruise can follow established lanes, apply the brakes, and control the speed without driver input and has been designed with both congested urban traffic and highway cruising in mind.
Less specific are Cadillac’s plans for V2V communications, which are mentioned towards the bottom of the press release. Such a system is like to come together over the next decade, but without other cars to talk to, it won’t be of all that much use. The 2017 Cadillac CTS has been pegged as the car that will launched the V2V system, though Super Cruise will debut on another as-yet-unannounced Cadillac vehicle (hopefully based on the El Miraj Concept).
Automated driving technology has a tremendous amount of potential for the transportation sector. In addition to being able to reduce accidents, automated cars could relieve traffic congestion and drive more efficiency than most people can manage. Untold hundreds of millions of gallons of unburnt gasoline can be saved by this technology, though it’s a technology that will have to trickle down from some of the world’s priciest cars into the more plebeian cars you and I can afford.
This cutting-edge technology isn’t cheap, after all, and there is a lot of disagreement among automakers and analysts as to just how close we are to self-driving vehicles. Five years? Ten? Twenty or more? Your guess is as good as mine.