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The green light bar and icons tell the driver Super Cruise is engaged. Photo: Cadillac

This week I'm driving the 2019 Cadillac CT6 with Super Cruise, GM's automated highway-driving technology.

Why it matters: Ignore the fact that GM recently announced plans to kill the CT6 sedan in favor of more popular crossovers and SUVs. What's important is that the Super Cruise technology will live on in all new Cadillacs starting in 2020. Plus, Cadillac will be GM's high-tech EV brand, starting in 2021.

How it works: Super Cruise is a partially automated system that allows drivers to take their hands off the wheel and feet off the pedals for long stretches of highway driving, as long as they stay alert.

  • It combines adaptive cruise control and lane-centering technology to drive hands-free on pre-mapped interstate highways.
  • To activate, the driver turns on adaptive cruise control, then waits for the Super Cruise steering wheel icon on the instrument panel to illuminate.
  • Then the driver pushes the Super Cruise button on the steering wheel, which causes the icon to turn green and a green light bar to appear in the steering wheel, signaling it's safe to let go of the wheel.
  • Unlike other systems like Tesla's Autopilot, a camera mounted on the steering column monitors the driver's attention — if they look away for too long, the light bar will flash and the seat will vibrate.
  • Repeated warnings will result in Super Cruise being locked out.

My thought bubble: I was anxious to try Super Cruise again after a moderately frightening experience more than a year ago when the car got confused and lurched to the left and back again when it couldn't find the lane markings as I began to drive across a bridge.

What we're seeing: This time, it performed brilliantly on my trip to Detroit Metro Airport to pick up my sister. She was surprised when I took my hands off the wheel and feet off the pedals, but relaxed in no time.

  • What really impressed her (and me) was the way Super Cruise handled congestion through a construction zone where the lanes got narrow.
  • I never touched the controls, and the car slowed to a complete stop then rolled along until traffic cleared and it resumed the set speed of 66 mph.

The bottom line: Consumer Reports rated Super Cruise better than automated driving systems from Tesla, Nissan and Volvo because it’s the only one that includes a camera inside the car to monitor driver attentiveness.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise" — Two years of COVID-19 — Prior coronavirus infections may not protect well against Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Data demonstrates most-vaccinated counties less vulnerable to worst of COVID — Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate.
  4. World: Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles downWHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Vulnerable Democrats: Less Trump talk

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Vulnerable House Democrats are convinced they need to talk less about the man who helped them get elected: President Trump.

Why it matters: Democrats are privately concerned nationalizing the 2022 mid-terms with emotionally-charged issues — from Critical Race Theory to Donald Trump's role in the Jan. 6 insurrection — will hamstring their ability to sell the local benefits of President Biden's Build Back Better agenda.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan tributes flood in for "giant of the Senate" Bob Dole

Then-Vice President Joe Biden and former Sen. Bob Dole at an event put on by the World Food Program at which he was awarded the first “McGovern-Dole Leadership Award” in December 2013. Photo: Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call

Republican and Democratic politicians, including former Senate colleagues, are sharing condolences and memories commemorating the life of Bob Dole, who passed away at 98 on Sunday morning.

The big picture: Dole, the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, was the longest-serving Republican leader in the Senate until 2018, when current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell surpassed his record.