By on August 28, 2017

cadillac super cruise

Setbacks notwithstanding, we’ve been eagerly anticipating Cadillac’s entry into the world of semi-autonomous driving with its Super Cruise system, developed to help reinforce the automaker’s position as top-tier luxury brand. After all, vehicular opulence is now deeply embedded with technological achievement and few things shout “I’ve arrived” like a car that can chauffeur you around.

However, Cadillac is changing its implementation strategy, making Super Cruise standard on the highest trimmed CT6 — instead of leaving it as a pricy optional extra. It’s also launching an advertising campaign to whet the public’s appetite, with the first of its “Let Go” TV spots appearing on MTV’s Video Music Awards over the weekend. 

Since I’m not a 16-year-old, I wasn’t watching the VMAs. But the digital wonderland in we currently exist made the 30-second spot easy enough to find. It’s boilerplate automotive marketing nonsense — conflating a change in lifestyle with the purchase of a specific type of car.

The majority of it focuses on individuals achieving important lifelong goals with unrelated clips of a gentleman enjoying hands-free driving.

In fairness, other early ads in the campaign are much easier to swallow. There’s one where the driver uses Super Cruise to engage in sign-language with his passenger — utilizing the technology in a way I had not previously considered. But how good or bad the commercials were don’t really matter as much as the system itself.

For the most part, is seems great and baking it into plusher versions of the 2018 CT6 sounds like a fine idea. Previously, the company had suggested it would only offer the hands-off highway tech as a $2,500 option. But Automotive News reported Monday that the company has changed those plans.

A Cadillac spokesman explained the automaker is making Super Cruise a standard feature on the CT6 Platinum, which carried an initial starting price of $85,290. The feature remains an optional extra on the Premium Luxury trim. Adjusted pricing will be announced closer to the vehicles’ arrival in dealerships — part of a interim model-year addition that Cadillac calls “2018i.”

Cadillac Super Cruise

As for what the safety tech suite can actually do, Cadillac is promising a genuine hands-free highway driving experience —with literally handful of important exceptions. Super Cruise is supposedly capable of allowing you to move along the expressway in a single lane without ever having to touch the wheel.

However, you do need to regain control for passing, entering, and exiting. You also can’t play on your phone, take a nap, or crack a book. The system has sensors that monitor eye movement and won’t work if you stop paying attention to the road ahead. It may have one of the most advanced GPS systems ever installed in a motor vehicle (and LIDAR specifically designed for the CT6), but General Motors doesn’t feel comfortable enough to allow you to let your guard down entirely.

If you do, the car requests that you regain control before bringing itself to a gradual stop. “It’s been very carefully thought out from a safety standpoint,” GM product chief Mark Reuss told reporters in Detroit. “If you think about this from a pure safety standpoint, it’s really a driver load reduction.”

Cadillac Super Cruise, Camera

This is ever so slightly annoying, as Cadillac is touting the system as the world’s first true hands-free driving system, and even crafted an ad campaign all about letting go. It’s still impressive but maybe not enough to say it “sets the standard” for autonomous highway motoring quite so boldly. Tesla Motors’ Autopilot may be inferior from a technical perspective, but it essentially offers the same sort of highway experience — only without a camera checking to see if you’ve dozed off and a less demand for physical contact with the wheel.

It’s that middling contact that allows Cadillac to run its ads, though. To date, no automotive brand I’m aware of has ran a television advertisement specifically showcasing the autonomous driving functions of a production model (the failed Mercedes-Benz attempt notwithstanding). Credit should be given where it’s due, and it is certainly due here.

Reuss said the system will expand to other Cadillacs and eventually appear in General Motors’ other brands. “We will get to [that] point,” he said. “Cadillac is going to lead the way on all this.”

[Images: Cadillac]

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18 Comments on “Cadillac Changes Its Super Cruise Strategy, Commences Media Campaign Prior to Launch...”

  • avatar

    In before DeadWeight….

    Blah, Blah, Blah, Cadillac, it all sucks, JdN, Melody Lee, blah, blah, blah, NYC coffee houses, Mary Barra, blah, blah, blah,

    Pretty sure that covers his typical routine.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, but he hits the nail on the head, gm is crap.

      • 0 avatar

        Only true in the TTAC echo chamber.

        Anyone with even the slightest bit of sophisticated knowledge of the auto industry knows that GM has some of the most talented engineers in the business and they build some amazingly capable vehicles.

      • 0 avatar

        Lol, no, that would be his rants. I guess if you blindly hate GM (no matter WHAT it does, what it builds or where it goes), then yes, his comments are super awesome haterade. Preaching to the choir, to put it mildly.

        He sings the virtues of the awful Jeep Patriot, but every GM product (or Ford, or Honda) is garbage and he *knows* this, because he rented one (two generations ago) (that was built in a factory that hasn’t been around in a decade or so) (that is a model that has simply never existed) and his 13 mile drive in heavy traffic is undeniable PROOF that it sux. Plus, one passed him the other day, as if anyone needs any more evidence.

        Anyone who questions that must be a paid shill for the automaker, and a racist Trump supporter to boot.

        The only credit he gets is being slightly more original and entertaining than EcoBoostFlex’s garbage spewing.

        • 0 avatar

          Every single prediction I’ve made about Cadillac, be it the sales trajectories of particular models, to their incomprehensively incompetent advertising and marketing strategies, to everything (EVERYTHING) else, has been 100% spot on.

          I’m not sure what hallucinogenic drugs you are ingesting, but if you want to accurately dissect my track record, you’re going to need to stop cold turkey before trying to claim I’ve been inaccurate in any way; you still won’t succeed in trying to do so, but at least you might stand a chance of not sounding completely batsh!t crazy.

    • 0 avatar

      What do you have against accuracy, consistency and precision?

      • 0 avatar

        Nothing, I’m sure, which is why he discredits dw.

        Even an inoperative analog clock is “accurate” once every 12 hours.

        He is “consistent”, I’ll give you that…as in consistently wrong, angry and fact-challenged.

        His “precision” is also unquestioned, from vehicles built in factories that no longer exist, to models that have never existed either. Yes, he’s quite precise with his made-up facts. They precisely support his opinions, but absolutely nothing else whatsoever.

    • 0 avatar

      Needs more CAPS.

  • avatar

    with the first of its “Let Go” TV spots appearing on MTV’s Video Music Awards over the weekend…


    I wish I could have been there to see all the shocked MTV viewers who were “mind = blown” that Cadillac sells something other than the Escalade.

  • avatar

    So Cadillac buys an autonomous suite from Continental and installs it in their car, like every other automaker… This is special how?

    • 0 avatar

      Every other automaker has this exact feature/ability available today? But none are advertising it, just Cadillac?

      Well, the next time I rent a Mitsubishi, I’ll just test it out. I’ll get it up to 70, set the cruise and just “let go” of the wheel and relax. Wish me luck!

      If only it were Lexus or a German brand instead of Cadillac (or any American brand, aside from Tesla), then it would be “special” because not GM/Ford/FCA.

  • avatar

    “with the first of its “Let Go” TV spots appearing on MTV’s Video Music Award”

    I want Cadillac to succeed. But media pushes on MTV and uber-beige interiors like in the photos above ain’t gonna cut it.


  • avatar

    Jay Leno, dressed up as a greaseball mechanic on Last Man Standing, when asked what he thinks about self-driving cars:

    “I don’t like ’em. You don’t know who to give the finger to.”

  • avatar

    How does Supercruise deal with black ice, snow covered roads, and road construction cones? Up here in Minnesota we have to remind people to turn off Cruise during inclement weather. *Scotty* “You canna break the laws of physics!”

  • avatar
    Middle-Aged Miata Man

    I love how the ad shows not a single millennial with any evident skill to parlay into a useful, relevant, and well-paying career that would allow them to one day drop $85K on a CT6. They’re Cruze buyers at best…

  • avatar

    3.0 Ellesmere Port V6
    Self immolating 2.0T

    What could possibly go wrong with Super Cruise? :D

    Christ on a bike just make a car that doesn’t suck for once this millennium.

  • avatar

    They should have left it as an option, then built ALL of them WITH the option. Well, at least for the first two model years.

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