Movies such as Total Recall, Demolition Man, The Fifth Element, and Minority Report have popularized driverless cars. These movies are wholly science fiction, and driverless cars are not a reality just yet. That doesn’t mean that automakers aren’t trying to make this a reality. Elon Musk’s Tesla, Inc., has touted its vehicle’s “autopilot” system as being close to autonomous. Unfortunately, several recent high-profile accidents have cast a negative light on the true extent of the autopilot system’s abilities. General Motors, too, is attempting to creating an autonomous driving system, adding trickier roads to its current semi-autonomous system, expanding the number of roadways on which it can travel, as WSB Radio reports.
The semi-autonomous driving system included in the Cadillac Super Cruise just added 70,000 miles of roads throughout the U.S. and Canada added to the system on which it can run.
Currently, the vehicle’s semi-autonomous system can run on 130,000 miles of limited access roadways that don’t have crossing traffic or intersections. The addition of the 70,000 miles will put to the test the system’s ability to sense cross traffic and brake.
The system should work, according to engineers with Cadillac. However, they are careful to stress that the driver needs to maintain awareness and be prepared to act if necessary.
Recently, the Tesla autopilot system was in use when two vehicles in Florida failed to sense tractor-trailers crossing their paths, causing the vehicles not to brake. Two people died in those crashes.
Unlike the Tesla system, the Cadillac system uses a camera to monitor the driver and ensure that they are paying attention. Tesla’s system only uses steering wheel sensors and only requires that the driver occasionally touch the steering wheel. The Cadillac system ensures that the driver’s eyes are on the road.
GM plans on making the system available on other Cadillac models next year. Beginning after 2020, other GM brands will be getting the system.
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