30 November 2016

'Super Cruise' will allow hands-free driving, but will 'watch' the driver

A smart cruise control system being developed by General Motors will let drivers remove their hands from the wheel while in operation, writes Brian Byrne.

‘Super Cruise’ uses facial recognition to make sure that the driver is still paying attention to the road.

The company is planning to roll out the system next year in the US, in a Cadillac brand car.

Current cruise assist systems require that a driver have their hands on the wheel at all times, but this semi-autonomous mode would recognise when a driver isn’t paying attention, or if they’re falling asleep while the system is engaged.

The Super Cruise would signal a red alert, vibrate the seat and play a recorded message. If there’s no response, GM would then use its OnStar driver assistance system to try and communicate directly with the driver.

Super Cruise will hand back control of the vehicle to the driver if it notices that the road gets twistier. It will also turn on the car’s emergency hazard lights and slow the vehicle if the driver doesn’t respond. In certain situations it could slowly stop the car.