Self-driving cars used to be stuff science fiction dreams are made of, but they are now fast becoming science reality. Car makers Tesla, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz and tech giant Google have all made headway to fast track the self-driving car.
In fact, a study from Business Insider Intelligence estimates that by 2020, there will be about 10 million cars on the road with embedded self-driving technology.
Now, add the General Motors Company to this list of autonomous car tech pioneers. The company is set to debut its semi-autonomous driving system called Super Cruise in 2017.
First announced in 2012, GM's initial version of its Super Cruise, like its name implies, is more akin to souped-up cruise control than a full blown self-driving system. The technology not only controls the accelerator and brake but also allows a driver to go hands-free for long straightaways. As it is not a fully autonomous system, it will still require driver intervention in specific road conditions, such as during a sequence of turns.
Super Cruise will also use facial recognition to gauge whether a driver is paying attention or falling asleep at the wheel. If it detects that a driver is inattentive, audible and visual alerts will be set off and should the driver fail to take the wheel, the system will turn on the car's hazard lights and pull it over to the side of the road.
GM says Super Cruise differs from AutoPilot, Tesla's semi-autonomous driving system that uses a camera and radar for navigation, with the additional use of lidar sensors for mapping road conditions. With these sensors, the system will be capable of braking, speed control, and lane correction.
Can't wait? Expect to see GM's exciting new Super Cruise tech on a Cadillac model in 2017.