Super Cruising with the 2018 Cadillac CT6's autonomous tech
This is the Cadillac of self-driving cars.
Literally it's the 2018 Cadillac CT6 Platinum with automaker super cruise self-driving technology.
But I also mean that figuratively in that Cadillac of "best of the best", most advanced driver system that you can buy on the road today.
And we're gonna hit the road and see how it works.
Let's just hope those clouds on the horizon don't mean rain.
Now for those of you who don't know.
What super cruise is, let me catch you up a little bit.
It's basically an evolution of Cadillac's adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and automatic braking system into one feature that allows the driver, under certain conditions, to activate the system and have their car drive itself, basically fully autonomously.
So what I'm waiting for is an icon on the Instrument cluster to let me know that the system's ready, and then once it is, I press the button, and now I'm super cruising.
Now it lets me know that it's in control by activating a green icon on the instrument cluster and also a green bar right here on the steering wheel.
That let's me know that the car is in control of the steering, the acceleration, the braking, and I can just take my hands off the wheel and sort of relax a little.
If at any point I need to change lanes or something like that I can just grab the steering wheel, activate my turn signal and then initiate the lane change.
It will give me control instantaneously and seamlessly.
I dont have to press any buttons for that, and then once I am centered back in the lane it will turn green again, and I just let go.
It's actually a really seemless system, and it's interesting that it's working so well in the rain today.
Most of the almost 200 miles of testing that I've done on the car this week have been highway miles, so I've been getting a lot of mileage out of that super cruise system.
I think about 80% of my miles are super cruise miles.
Now, when it's in this mode, it's basically fully autonomous.
It will stay in its lane, it will follow it around bends, it will slow down if the car in front of me slows down and it will speed back up when traffic permits.
But there are a couple of catches.
First is that it only works on the highway.
In order to get this level of autonomy General Motors has gone out and basically [UNKNOWN] a bunch of interstates.
They have up to five millimeter precision on those scans.
But that means that it only works on those roads.
Fortunately it's a lot of road to the entire interstate system basically and a lot of major highways.
There's a map on Cadillac's website to let you know which road work so you can check the ones in your area.
And it's always changing as they scan more roads.
The other catch is that I can't just check out of the drive while it's super cruising.
I can't start reading a book or fiddle with my phone or take a nap.
I basically have to keep my eyes on the road and be ready to re-engage in case there's an emergency, like a car cuts me off or something falls off of a truck and grab the steering wheel.
Now, in order to enforce that, Cadillac has actually equipped this car with a small infrared camera on the Steering column and that's watching my face to make sure that I'm looking forward and that my eyes are opened and on the road.
There are also a couple of infrared lights in the steering wheel that watch my face at night so that I can drive in the evening and allow it See through sunglasses.
So, basically, it's mostly autonomous, but I can't like, take a nap on the highway.
Now, if, for example, it does notice that I'm looking away from the road for too long, it'll actually start flashing this green light to get my attention.
And if I ignore that, it will flash the lights red, and actually gives me a little bit of hectic feedback through the- The seat buzzing my bottom to let me know now it's time just to put your hands back on the wheel.
You've lost privileges for a while.
If I continue to ignore it, for example heaven forbid I've passed out or taken a nap or something like that, it'll actually bring the car to a stop and activate the hazard lights.
Then it can use the OnStar [INAUDIBLE] call emergency services for me.
That's like completely autonomous, so I do have to still stay engaged, but there's still a little bit of a convenience benefits.
I can't take my eyes off the road but I can take my hands off the wheel and sort of relax into the drive.
And there's a little bit of a psychological relaxing thing that happens there when you're in stop and go traffic.
Now in order to get this system, well first of all you have to have a Cadillac CT6.
And that starts at around $54,000.
But in order to get the super cruise option you have to step up to the premium luxury package.
That starts at around $65,000.
And then it's a $5,000 option on top of that.
Or you can do what we've done and just get the platinum that rolls everything in, including Supercruise, as a standard feature.
That starts at around $84,000, but if you have the 400-horsepower twin turbo with all-wheel drive like we do, you're looking at around an $89,000 car.
It's a pretty hefty The price to pay for a self-driving technology but the CT6 is a fully fledged flagship luxury vehicle so you're getting a lot of car for your money at that price point.
Plus Cadillac's kind of the only one in the business of hands off self-driving at least for now.
Mercedes, Volvo, all the other usual suspects are also working on their own hands-off systems that we'll start seeing over the next two years.