The next Cadillac Escalade will be capable of changing lanes on its own

Cadillac detailed a much more advanced evolution of the semi-autonomous Super Cruise technology currently available on some of its models Tuesday morning. Super Cruise stands out as one of the smartest technologies of its kind on the market in 2020, and the firm will soon improve it by adding a host of new functions like automatic lane changing.

As its name implies, automatic lane changing allows the car to move into the next lane while the driver’s hands are off the steering wheel. With Super Cruise engaged, motorists need to request the change by tapping or engaging the turn signal stalk in the direction they want to move in. Signal left to merge into the next lane to the left, for example.

The car doesn’t dart into a gap in the traffic flow like a human might. Once the driver requests a lane change, the on-board cameras and sensors begin scanning the lane to determine if there is enough space for the car to merge, and they also track approaching vehicles to determine whether there is sufficient time to move over. If both conditions are met, the car signals and carefully moves over by reading the lane markings painted on the pavement.

Cadillac noted the driver doesn’t need to touch the steering wheel but is still expected to initiate and monitor the lane-changing process. The digital instrument cluster keeps motorists informed of what the car is doing at any given moment. It shows messages like “looking for an opening” or “changing lanes” so none of it comes as a surprise.

Cadillac Super Cruise graphics

Super Cruise also gains more accurate maps covering approximately 200,000 miles of North America’s highways and improved driving software. Cadillac pointed out engaging the feature is now easier and more intuitive, too.

“This is our most extensive update we’ve made to Super Cruise since its debut,” summed up Mario Maiorana, the technology’s chief engineer, in a statement. The CT6, Cadillac’s former flagship, first received the technology in 2017. The company pointed out the changes were made possible by a new digital platform that provides more electrical bandwidth and additional data processing power. Super Cruise is Cadillac-exclusive for the time being, but the digital platform was developed by General Motors for all of its brands, so a similar feature might appear elsewhere.

The CT4 and the CT5 respectively launched to replace the ATS and the CTS will inaugurate the next evolution of Super Cruise when they reach American showrooms during the second half of 2020. The next-generation Escalade scheduled to make its global debut on February 4 and expected in stores by the end of the year will also be available with the technology. Super Cruise will be an extra-cost option on all three models, but pricing hasn’t been announced yet. Looking ahead, most of Cadillac’s upcoming cars will be offered with this suite of semi-autonomous driving aids.

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