Details about General Motors upcoming Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system emerged in correspondence between GM and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), according to Reuters. Originally outlined in September 2014, Super Cruise would allow drivers to take their hands off of the steering wheel for an extended period of time under certain circumstances. But if the roads got more challenging, the system also would warn the driver to reassume full control or, if it determined the driver was unresponsive or incapacitated, automatically intervene to bring the vehicle to a complete stop.

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Using its array of cameras, radar and sensors – including facial-recognition sensors that assess the general alertness of the vehicle’s operator – the Super Cruise system is designed exit its semi-autonomous mode by warning the driver about the need for direct involvement via a red visual alert in the instrument cluster. This would be followed by seat vibration and finally an audio warning. Should all of those fail, the system will activate OnStar and automatically move to slowly halt the vehicle either on or at the side of the road, at which time it will activate the hazard flashers. The latter action was a point of concern for NHTSA that urged GM to be sure it was done in a manner that “does not pose an unreasonable risk to safety.”

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GM originally planned to launch its Super Cruise late this year on the new Cadillac CT6, however it has now moved that introduction date back to sometime in 2017. Other automakers are currently working on similar kinds of systems.

More Autonomous Vehicle/Driver Assist News:

BMW Vision Next 100 Concept looks toward tomorrow

KBB Study finds most Americans still prefer a hands-on approach

Ford’s Autonomous Fusion offers a peek into the future


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