Feb 22, 2019

What we're driving: Cadillac CT6 with Super Cruise technology

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

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,202,236 — Total deaths: 64,703 — Total recoveries: 246,198Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 311,301 — Total deaths: 8,476 — Total recoveries: 14,694Map.
  3. Public health latest: CDC launches national trackers and recommends face coverings in public. Federal government will cover costs of COVID-19 treatment for uninsured. The virus is hitting poor, minority communities harder and upending childbirth.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. "We're having the convention at the end of August."
  5. Business updates: Restaurants step up for health care workers. Employees are pressuring companies to provide protections during coronavirus.
  6. Oil latest: Monday meeting among oil-producing countries to discuss supply curbs is reportedly being delayed amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  7. Education update: Many college-age students won't get coronavirus relief checks.
  8. 1 🏀 thing: The WNBA postpones start of training camps and season.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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World coronavirus updates: Confirmed cases top 1.2 million

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The number of novel coronavirus cases surpassed 1.2 million worldwide Saturday night, as Spain overtook Italy as the country with the most infections outside the U.S. The global death toll has surpassed 64,700, per Johns Hopkins data.

The latest: The United Kingdom's Queen Elizabeth II will speak in a televised address on the coronavirus Sunday of the "disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all," per the BBC. The U.K. death toll rose 708 to 4,313 on Saturday — the fourth highest in the world.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll surpasses 8,400

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the coronavirus surpassed 8,400 in the U.S. on Saturday, per Johns Hopkins data. The death toll in the U.S. has risen over 1,000 every day for the past four days, since April 1.

The big picture: President Trump said Saturday America's is facing its "toughest week, between this week and next week." Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the U.S. should expect to see deaths continue to rise in this period.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health