Cadillac's Super Cruise system enables hands-free highway cruising

Tesla may call its system “Autopilot,” but Cadillac claims its new “Super Cruise” is the first to allow truly hands-free driving. Is it a step toward autonomous driving, or will Cadillac face the same controversy Tesla has with Autopilot?

Cadillac has discussed Super Cruise for several years, but it’s debuting just now on the 2018 CT6 sedan. It uses an array of sensors to allow the car to autonomously maintain a set speed and keep it centered in its lane on highways. That sounds a lot like Autopilot, but Super Cruise differs from the Tesla system in several key ways.

For starters, Super Cruise uses lidar, in addition to radar and cameras. Lidar works like radar, but uses light waves instead of radio waves. It’s considered essential to the development of self-driving cars by most companies, but not Tesla. CEO Elon Musk has insisted that Autopilot, and systems offering a greater degree of autonomy, can rely on radar and cameras only.

Both Super Cruise and Autopilot are designed for use on highways only, but Cadillac actually ensures its system can’t be used anywhere else. Super Cruise compares camera scans and GPS data to a map database, and won’t activate unless conditions are right. Cadillac says the availability of map data also improves system responsiveness on curves and hills.

Super Cruise also includes a driver-attention monitor to ensure the driver isn’t, say, taking a nap behind the wheel. It uses a camera mounted at the top of the steering column to track head position. If the system determines the driver is looking away from the road, it will start a series of prompts, including visual and audio alerts, and vibrating the CT6’s Safety Alert Seat. If the driver is determined to be unresponsive, the system can bring the car to a controlled stop in certain conditions and send for help via OnStar, according to Cadillac.

Super Cruise launches this fall as an option on the 2018 CT6. Pricing for the system will be announced closer to the launch date.

Cars

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Emerging Tech

With this robotic garage, retrieving your car is like using a vending machine

Remembering where we parked our cars can be a real pain. But what if our cars came to find us, rather than the other way around? A new automated robot parking valet system aims to help.
Deals

Best deals on home security cameras to save you from package thieves

Home security camera systems can help keep your home and your family safe. Amazon's deals on Blink security cameras and Ring Video Doorbells also help you save money on devices you can access regardless of your current location.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."
Cars

Gateway’s born-again Ford Bronco boasts classic style, 2018 muscle car power

Illinois-based Gateway Bronco has received a license from Ford to make brand-new examples of the first-generation Bronco. Every build starts with a Ford VIN and a donor vehicle, but Gateway upgrades every part of the car.
Cars

Bloodhound’s plan to build a 1,000-mph car has run out of gas

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project has officially shut down. The upside is you can now buy a 135,000-horsepower car powered by a jet engine and a cluster of rockets for $319,000.
Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is a luxurious and quick SUV, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.
Cars

2019 Ford Ranger saves fuel without sacrificing towing capacity

The 2019 Ford Ranger marks Ford's long-awaited return to the midsize truck segment, which has seen a resurgence lately. But will being late to the party make Ford's job more difficult?
Cars

Pininfarina Battista is a 1,900-horsepower, 250-mph electric supercar

The Pininfarina Battista will be the first production car from famed Italian design firm Pininfarina. Named after company founder Battista Pininfarina, it has a claimed 1,900 horsepower and a $2.5 million price tag.
Cars

Tesla could show the electric pickup Elon Musk is dying to build in 2019

Tesla has started designing its long-promised pickup truck. The yet-unnamed model will come with dual-motor all-wheel drive and lots of torque, plus it will be able to park itself.
Cars

Allegro.ai is helping Hyundai mine the artificial intelligence gold rush

In November 2018, Hyundai invested in a startup named Allegro.ai. We talked to the company's founder to learn more about what that means for consumers in the not-too-distant futures.
Cars

Thinking of opting for a car with a diesel engine? Here's what you need to know

Modern diesel-powered models prove that it is possible to build a clean, efficient diesel engine without sacrificing performance. Here's what you need to know about diesel cars, and how they differ from gasoline-powered models.
Cars

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Cars

These winter-warrior cars will never leave you out in the cold

Snow can be an absolute pain if your vehicle isn't optimized to handle that sort of terrain. If brutal snowstorms are an annual part of your life, we recommend you pick up one of these winter-ready vehicles.