Connected Vehicles technology

Connected Vehicles technology. Image courtesy

General Motors CEO Mary Barra has announced that some 2017 Cadillac models will have semi-autonomous technologies, as Karla Sanchez reports for Motor Trend. Barra made the announcement recently at the 21st annual Intelligent Transport World Congress in Detroit, where she said a few 2017 models would feature GM’s “Super Cruise” automated driving technology, Sanchez writes. The Super Cruise equipped model will be on the market by the summer of 2016, Time writes.

In a 2013 press release, GM quotes John Capp, GM director of Global Active Safety Electronics and Innovation as saying: “Super Cruise is designed to give the driver the ability of hands-free driving when the system determines it is safe to do so.” Capp said at the time that GM needed to rigorously test the system and refine its technology.

The press release says of Super Cruise:

Super Cruise is capable of semi-automated driving including hands-off lane following, braking and speed control under certain driving conditions. The system is designed to ease the driver’s workload on freeways only, in bumper-to-bumper traffic and on long road trips; however, the driver’s attention is still required.

Cadillac’s Super Cruise test vehicles use a fusion of radar, ultrasonic sensors, cameras and GPS map data, seamlessly integrated for a near-production appearance.

In addition to a model featuring Super Cruise, GM’s 2017 CTS sedan will be the company’s first car to have vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, Sanchez writes. V2V could help drivers to prevent some crashes and relieve traffic congestion by providing drivers with basic information like the proximity and speed of other vehicles, writes Mike Collas for Automotive News: The system could warn of a vehicle five spots ahead on the highway braking hard, for example.”

Collas writes that V2V will work better once a lot of vehicles have the technology that allows them to “talk” to each other, and that GM appears to be the first automaker to offer it on a production vehicle. Capp said GM hopes its announcement will help speed up the development of federal rules for V2V communication, and that other carmakers will also add the system to their vehicles, Collas writes.

Barra said GM seeks to be “at the vanguard” of V2V, adding that the sooner a “critical mass” of vehicles on the road are equipped with V2V technology, the sooner more accidents will be prevented, Collas writes.

General Motors is a founding member of the University of Michigan’s Mobility Transformation Center Leadership Circle, a public and private research and development initiative, as Stephanie Mlot writes for PC. Other members include Ford, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Verizon Communications. The center’s Mobility Transformation Facility is an off-roadway cityscape occupying 32 acres on U-M’s North Campus Research Complex. Set to be completed this fall, it features “4 lane-miles” of roads designed for the testing of V2V technology, according to a University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute press release. The leadership circle will unite with academic and government partners to expand the horizon for a commercially viable system of connected and automated vehicles, the release says.

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