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Super cruise takes the driving away from the driver

Several major automotive manufacturers in the United States think automated and semi automatic driving will be here in the relatively near future. Google has been working on completely automated vehicles that can drive with no interaction from a human. BMW, Ford, and now GM have all started talking about semi-autonomous driving capability.
The semi-autonomous driving capability is ideal for driving in traffic since it takes over primary driving controls. That means fewer accidents and rear-endings in traffic and the driver can take hands off the wheel and relax when cruising on the highway in most conditions.
Cadillac says that most of the technology needed for super cruise is already available on some of its vehicles in a special driver assistance packages.
Super cruise will use input from a variety of sensors, cameras, and GPS data along with radar to see the lines of the road and keep the vehicle in the lane without driver input. The technology will be able to completely stop the car in traffic and take off while steering all on its own.
“Super Cruise has the potential to improve driver performance and enjoyment,” said Don Butler, vice president of Cadillac marketing. “Our goal with advanced technologies, like this and our CUE system, is to lead in delivering an intuitive user experience.”

Cadillac says that the key technology is the automatic lane-centering tech. This technology is able to see the lanes and keep the vehicle between the lines. The super cruise technology would only work when visibility was good enough that the cameras sense the lane markings on both sides of the car. The usage of super cruise will be limited during adverse weather conditions.
“The primary goal of GM’s autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicle development is safety,” Capp said. “In the coming years, autonomous driving systems paired with advanced safety systems could help eliminate the crash altogether by interceding on behalf of drivers before they’re even aware of a hazardous situation. More than ever, consumers will be able to trust their car to do the right thing.”

Source: Cadilliac

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bad idea.
By chromal on 4/23/2012 10:19:14 AM , Rating: 1
Anything that encourages a driver to become distracted from the sole and primary task of driving has no place on our roads.

RE: bad idea.
By andre-bch on 4/23/12, Rating: -1
RE: bad idea.
By zlandar on 4/23/12, Rating: 0
RE: bad idea.
By Omega215D on 4/23/2012 12:00:14 PM , Rating: 5
No such thing as idiot proof as there will always be a better idiot.

RE: bad idea.
By bupkus on 4/23/2012 12:57:01 PM , Rating: 2
I suspect disorganized crime, unhappy spouses, angry neighbors and highly intelligent pets will start tampering with these devices for fun and profit.

RE: bad idea.
By bupkus on 4/23/2012 12:58:32 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, and don't forget terrorists-- the driver being a dummy made from plastic explosives.

RE: bad idea.
By mugiebahar on 4/23/2012 10:33:19 AM , Rating: 5
bad for most yes but not all. My wife being Asian (I'm half Asian too) dam they need these ASAP. No matter how much instruction most of us (although I'm one of the good ones) get its like we drive with tunnel vision and don't know what the he'll is going on. I love my wife but she could along with the rest of her family use this. It would make the world safer, lol ( I laugh and cry cause its true)

RE: bad idea.
By tayb on 4/23/12, Rating: 0
RE: bad idea.
By Solandri on 4/23/2012 1:45:43 PM , Rating: 3
I just got back from a weekend trip driving 5 hours each way. Here's the problem I see, at least until all cars drive themselves and people are banned from driving.

Unlike most people, I try to maintain a safe following distance. Unfortunately, in moderate traffic, this means I have this big space in front of me tempting people who want to make a lane change. They pull in front, cutting down my following distance. I have to slow down to regenerate my following distance. This annoys the driver behind me, who decides he needs to pass and pull in front of me. This forces me to slow down some more, annoying the new driver behind me, who decides to pass me too. etc.

Eventually I'm going 55 mph in the fast lane just to maintain my safe following distance even though I want to be going 75 mph. That's what's going to happen to any automatic car which tries to maintain a safe following distance. The only way to avoid this is to drive slow in the slow lane, or to tailgate / drive with less than a safe following distance. (The number of cars passing a certain spot per hour, their average speed, and the number of lanes dictate the average distance between the cars. A larger distance between cars means fewer cars per hour can use the highway.)

RE: bad idea.
By loboracing on 4/23/12, Rating: 0
RE: bad idea.
By Slyne on 4/23/2012 2:17:08 PM , Rating: 2
You don't get it, he (she) would actually be driving faster than most anyone else on the road, if they would respect safety distance and, yes, passing rules. He/She is in the left lane because he/she is passing (or attempting to pass, at least) other cars in the middle lane.

I know because I have the same problem: when traffic hits bottlenecks, I see lots of idiots with no idea of safety distance or basic rules of physics pass me haphazardly (turn lights? What are those for?), only for me to leave them in my rearview mirror a few minutes later once road congestion clears up. And as you pointed out, when I'm not passing, I drive in the middle lane.

RE: bad idea.
By Jeffk464 on 4/23/2012 11:09:47 PM , Rating: 2
Those idiots switching lanes in congestion are actually adding big time to further slowing the traffic jam.

RE: bad idea.
By Jeffk464 on 4/23/2012 11:07:53 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, you can be going exactly the same speed as the car in front of you but if you leave a healthy gap people perceive that you are going slow. Supposedly automation will dramatically reduce congestion because supposedly congestion is caused by human error. Things like this, phantom accidents, real accidents, the yow yow effect, etc.

RE: bad idea.
By Dorkyman on 4/24/2012 11:24:00 AM , Rating: 2
I've tried to follow the rule "Stay to the right unless you're going to pass." If you follow this rule you will never have any issues.

My mom's rule years ago was "Move to the far left lane and put it in cruise control." She probably incited a lot of anger on the highway.

RE: bad idea.
By Solandri on 4/24/2012 1:23:24 PM , Rating: 2
I've tried to follow the rule "Stay to the right unless you're going to pass." If you follow this rule you will never have any issues.

That rule is ideal for 2-lane highways, but doesn't work on 3-4 lane highways. And it's an inefficient use of lanes when traffic starts to get congested.

A better rule is the one the Germans use on the Autobahn. If someone is approaching you from behind, you need to move one lane over to the right. That's the rule I use.

And yeah the other respondents are correct. I'm going the same speed as the car in front of me in the fast lane, I just have a bigger than average distance between me and the car in front. For some reason, many people perceive this as me going too slow, and end up passing me so they can continue going the exact same speed as me. OTOH, if they approached me from behind (so I know they're going faster than me), I'll pull over to the right to let them pass.

RE: bad idea.
By bah12 on 4/23/2012 2:24:06 PM , Rating: 2
The modern auto stop cars are pretty good at it. The follow distance automatically scales with speed, so at low speeds you will be much closer than at highway speeds. The cutoff guy is a rouge element for sure, but the car does what we do apply the brake and open the gap back up.

If anything one might argue this is the BEST way to follow safely, since instinctively (as you've said) we humans want to close the hole everyone keeps getting in. However in doing so we violate the car's safe stopping distance.

RE: bad idea.
By Nessuno on 4/23/12, Rating: 0
RE: bad idea.
By Jeffk464 on 4/23/2012 11:13:14 PM , Rating: 2
Not me I drive a truck and if you yahoo's keep passing on the right I just stay where I'm at messing up traffic until they stop passing on the right. Eventually somebody figures it out and makes space on the right.

RE: bad idea.
By mikeyD95125 on 4/24/2012 12:11:32 AM , Rating: 2
He was talking about the hypothetical problem of cars on the highway automatically maintaining a safe following distance.

Comprehension before correction.

RE: bad idea.
By rich876 on 4/24/2012 8:02:04 AM , Rating: 2
Usually when a car passes, it's to go faster then you are. I don't think a car passes just for the purpose to hold you down like what you are saying. It passes and usually maintains that speed if able to do so.

RE: bad idea.
By Hieyeck on 4/26/2012 5:20:57 AM , Rating: 2
Here's the better question.

Why are you cruising in the PASSING lane? It's NOT a 'fast' lane. In ON, 4 separate sections of our Highways Act are broken when you let someone pass you on the right.

1. Failing to maintain the right-most lane
2. Failing to yield to faster traffic
3. Failing to assist safe passing
4. Failing to assist lane changes

And since you broke 4 separate laws:

5. Careless driving

If you had the space to get passed on the right, you could've been IN the right lane. GTFO the passing lane.

RE: bad idea.
By Eris23007 on 4/23/2012 10:45:26 AM , Rating: 3
"Those silly new-fangled internal combustion engines should be outlawed because the noise distracts our horses. They have no place on our roads."

It seems Luddites exist in every age. Technological progress can't possibly be a good thing, can it?

RE: bad idea.
By lelias2k on 4/23/2012 11:33:27 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, like drivers are not already distracted enough nowadays. At least this is meant to help exactly that.

RE: bad idea.
By bupkus on 4/23/2012 1:00:46 PM , Rating: 2
By the time these come out I'll be ready for my nap.

Almost an old man.

RE: bad idea.
By Natch on 4/23/2012 3:23:11 PM , Rating: 1
True.....but could an autonomous system REALLY be any worse of a driver than some of the seniors out there??

RE: bad idea.
By Jeffk464 on 4/23/2012 11:00:55 PM , Rating: 2
For some reason I trust Google a lot more with this technology then I do GM. Putting your life in the hands of GM Generally Mediocre, no thanks.

RE: bad idea.
By Dorkyman on 4/24/2012 11:26:54 AM , Rating: 2
Not any more. Now GM stands for Government Motors.

Obama's in charge. Trust him. He's pretty smart and knows what's best.

It has its place, but...
By Schrag4 on 4/23/2012 10:26:18 AM , Rating: 2
...I just don't see this as something I would ever use. Perhaps younger people will embrace this and other emerging "drive-for-you" technologies (wasn't there an article here a while back suggesting that kids these days yearn less to drive than in the past?) but I just don't see myself trusting the machine more than myself. Yes, the logic side of my brain tells me that in time, these will be safer drivers than even I am, but I don't think I'd ever get over the feeling that there might be some glitch, some bug, some scenario that the system doesn't recognize and flips out over (think hard-turn over an embankment). Am I just paranoid? Am I the only one that thinks this way?

By the way, the place I think this technology has would be if the car recognizes that the driver has become incapacitated somehow (heart-attack, stroke, or simply falling asleep).

RE: It has its place, but...
By ksenter on 4/23/12, Rating: 0
RE: It has its place, but...
By leviathan05 on 4/23/2012 10:51:45 AM , Rating: 2
Then at least only 1 person died instead of a 40 car pile-up? Also, what car do you drive that gets 1000 miles in one tank?

RE: It has its place, but...
By ksenter on 4/23/2012 11:13:21 AM , Rating: 2
Good point. I was exaggerating a bit. All I was getting at was that a car that drives itself isn't the best thing to have when you have a stroke. A car that automatically breaks to avoid hitting the car in front of you is great though. As long as it doesn't accelerate on it's own afterwards.

Don't get me wrong, I think we'll eventually all be in cars that drive themselves. At least until teleporters are invented. :)

RE: It has its place, but...
By lelias2k on 4/23/2012 11:41:19 AM , Rating: 2
The same way there is technology in place to check if the driver needs to rest, I'm pretty sure it will be easy enough to have something that detects any other kind of trouble.

Besides, just as you do with cruise control, you should be able take over anytime, as long as it is safe to do so.

But I'll go back to the previous comment's point: at least you didn't hurt others in the process.

RE: It has its place, but...
By mindless1 on 4/23/2012 12:55:22 PM , Rating: 2
If you're driving along on an expressway and have a stroke, odds are fair they will not get to you in time to change anything. By the time police stop traffic, an ambulance arrives, a distance is traveled to the nearest emergency room, a doctor is available to diagnose what happened after tests and treatment of the injuries suffered from the vehicle wreck...

It's too late. You were better off having the vehicle continue driving instead of sustaining the crash related injuries which were likely if this stroke is bad enough to make you die during a few more miles traveled.

However, it would be technically possible to program in emergency situation routes so for example if you press a button the vehicle changes course and heads to the nearest hospital ER entrance.

RE: It has its place, but...
By bupkus on 4/23/2012 1:03:35 PM , Rating: 2
How about a built in body monitor that for example detects your blood alcohol level and drives you to where your wife works so she can beat the hell out of you.

RE: It has its place, but...
By bupkus on 4/23/2012 1:07:47 PM , Rating: 2
Then the car can drive you to the hospital and then drive your wife to the police station where it will testify against her. Then the can judge can drive you to anger management classes or jail... your choice.

Will these cars be able to stop and fill up the tank when it gets low?

I'm still enjoying my nap, Sir!

RE: It has its place, but...
By tayb on 4/23/2012 1:12:21 PM , Rating: 2
How about you have a stroke and the car starts aggressively breaking and accelerating to pump blood??

Don't take this too seriously guys...

By mindless1 on 4/23/2012 1:02:23 PM , Rating: 2
Will you be able to program it to exceed the speed limit or will you constantly risk being ran over because you're limited to 65MPH on the expressway when everyone else is going 75MPH?

A human can do defensive driving while a computer cannot anticipate all the risks caused by OTHER drivers acting batsh1t crazy.

For example, what if a drunk driver is rapidly approaching from behind in another lane but swerving around? As a human driver I would get as far away in another lane as possible but I'll bet the computer would just stay in the same lane at the same speed even if the drunk plowed into the side of the vehicle.

Can the computer decide that it's better to leave the road if you'd only run into a sign post than to hit a pedestrian? Can it read a sign that says lane ends ahead and get over due to construction? Can it see that someone in another lane is suffering from road rage and has a gun drawn?

What about zombies? Does the computer understand you WANT to hit them?

By Jeffk464 on 4/23/2012 11:22:02 PM , Rating: 2
You do realize all the scenarios you describe it just depends on how good the software gets.

By mindless1 on 4/24/2012 1:24:40 PM , Rating: 2
in theory... in reality, we're nowhere near programmatically reproducing the human mind's thought patterns yet and if we did, wouldn't there be far more important apps than driving a car?

What happens if this type of car gets cut off?
By abzillah on 4/23/2012 3:26:54 PM , Rating: 1
Sometimes I drive quite radically and cut people off because I'm an as*hole like that. What would happen if I did this to a car like this I wonder?

By chagrinnin on 4/23/2012 7:45:20 PM , Rating: 2
The "driver" of the automated car can stand up through his sun roof and take careful aim?

By Jeffk464 on 4/23/2012 11:23:19 PM , Rating: 2
The payback will be when you get in the inevitable accident.

Will Bad Lane Markings = Dangerous Situtation?
By tigz1218 on 4/23/2012 11:01:52 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know about you but this part: "This technology is able to see the lanes and keep the vehicle between the lines. The super cruise technology would only work when visibility was good enough that the cameras sense the lane markings on both sides of the car." has me worried.

I drive a lot and many times you will be on highway with clear lane markings, but you will then come up to a construction area, or newly paved area that has yet to be painted or there are multiple temporary lane markings for lane shifts due to construction.

If people get too comfortable with the autonomous driving and one of these scenarios arrive, are there any built in safety features to prevent the car from going haywire, or does the car suddenly revert to manual without a warning? Additionally, if the driver still needs to be 100% alert while this autonomous mode is on, is it really that beneficial?

By Jeffk464 on 4/23/2012 11:20:11 PM , Rating: 2
People often misjudge the lane markings in the situation you describe. Seems like with paint that works well with the computer sensors the computer might be more accurate than your average driver.

Bye Bye CB radio.
By drycrust3 on 4/23/2012 11:39:06 AM , Rating: 2
the car

I see the technology being used in things like big rigs that need to travel long distances and limousines. The cost of this technology wouldn't add a significant amount to the purchase price of one of these vehicles, so it could easily become economically attractive for fleet owners to want semi-autonomous vehicles. For example, a rig could be driven by the driver until it is clear of the city, then the computer takes over and drives the vehicle to the next city, and then the driver completes the trip; or the computer drives in the day time and in good light conditions, while the driver drives at night or in marginal light conditions.
The day will come when we will feel completely comfortable with a computer driving a large rig across America (or wherever), with some control from a central office, but that is still a long way off ... maybe 20 years from now.

RE: Bye Bye CB radio.
By ppardee on 4/23/2012 12:41:57 PM , Rating: 2
If we let the Caddy shopper pay the R&D costs, it won't add too much to the cost of the average car. There are plenty of companies working on this kind of technology. BMW has a auto-cruise light that attempts to stop the car before a collision or if you are about to run a stop sign. Last time I saw a demo, it didn't stop in time, but it would have reduced damage and injuries. Google is working on a fully-autonomous car. So we have 3 levels of development. Competition drives down prices. Probably won't be so bad.

And in 10 years when this stuff becomes available to the public, PC tech will have doubled 6x already (Moore's Law) and we're going to see computers that can easily outperform drivers. Drivers who pilot their own vehicles will be seen as irresponsible. Traffic deaths will drop. Fuel efficiency will increase (aggressive driving is bad for your MPG). Gas prices will drop. People will be able to get stuff done on their commute.

Add car-to-car cloud networks and cars can follow closely behind each other, taking advantage of lower drag. I'm thinking the fuel/brake/tire/insurance savings will pay for any additional costs. Take time into consideration, and you've got a savings. Bring it on.

Did you forget Mercedes?
By Austin814 on 4/23/2012 11:41:54 AM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure it was Mercedes that invented distronic Cruise Control to adjust the speed to match the car in front of it as well as accident avoidence which detects an impending accident and if it cant be avoided preps the car by changing passenger seat positions, windows and steers the car for safest impact area before the driver could even respond. It also will come to a complete stop and accelerate in traffic without driver pedal input. And...its included in the 2006 S class. Sorry, not impressed by Government Motors.

Doors lock... "I'm sorry sir, please stay calm as your car has been re-routed to the nearest police station. It seems you missed your last appointed volunteer public service hours."

RE: Did you forget Mercedes?
By ppardee on 4/23/2012 12:45:55 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, GM isn't the only company that will be subject to that in the US. The Senate passed MAP-21 in Friday.

Ghost Riding
By leviathan05 on 4/23/2012 10:49:43 AM , Rating: 3
Highway style? You know the Bay area is waiting with bated breadth for this tech.

SO -
By Dr of crap on 4/23/2012 10:16:51 AM , Rating: 2
After using this no hands on driving for awhile,
When there is a few inches of snow the roads will be all the worse because not only will drivers have to use their own judgement again, but they won't be used to controlling their car, (works the same with hard rain)
so that's just great!

the future
By Seagrave on 4/23/2012 10:48:11 AM , Rating: 2
you are missing the beauty of a system like this in widespread use.
imagine the california free ways moving at 50-60mph again.
these systems reduce the need for constant speed up slow down driving that causes traffic to clump up.

autopilot systems in cars could eventually be used in certain areas and nearly eliminate traffic congestion, no more asshats merging 4 lanes to make their exit, the car would have preplanned it for them, and merged a couple miles early.

these systems started out being designed for tight caravan use, 3-5 cars staying relatively close, moving at high speed, and communicating changing conditions, so they could maintain 60mph with only 10 feet between them.
this would of course be limited by proprietary design, and need for absolute autonomy. but you get the real intent of systems in the future, albeit pretty far off.

Sought after feature...
By JackBurton on 4/23/2012 11:26:48 AM , Rating: 2
If this system includes forcing the vehicle out of the left lane, I'm all for it!

driver? more like passenger.
By loboracing on 4/23/2012 11:55:22 AM , Rating: 2
“Super Cruise has the potential to improve driver performance and enjoyment,” said Don Butler, vice president of Cadillac marketing.

I am not sure you should be considered a driver at this point, and how can it make driving more enjoyable, your now a passenger.

On the other hand I trust this more than a lot of people on the road.

By GotThumbs on 4/23/2012 5:32:56 PM , Rating: 2
While this seems to resemble a single car in a train...on the hwy. Can it take proper evasive actions when an oncoming car swerves into your lane. If not...I see lots and lots of lawyers lining up to file suit.

When can we get back to a world of Self-reliance and Self-responsibility?

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard
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