Cadillac Shows Off Super Cruise Self-Driving Car Technology
April 23, 2012 10:04 AM
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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.”
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Bye Bye CB radio.
4/23/2012 11:39:06 AM
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.
4/23/2012 12:41:57 PM
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.
"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
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