There’s something both marvelous and terrifying about taking your hands off the steering wheel when you’re barreling down a busy highway at 70 mph. It goes against every fiber of one’s being to just let a car steer itself at such speeds after having been taught for decades that you must maintain absolute control, meticulous attention and be ready to react at a moment’s notice to keep yourself and your passengers safe. That’s why Cadillac’s latest and greatest Super Cruise semi-autonomous hands-free driving system, tested in a sparkling white 2021 Escalade Sport Platinum SUV, will likely take some getting used to.
What Is Super Cruise?
GM introduced the system to Cadillac a couple of years ago on the CT6 sedan, a system that combines intricately detailed electronic maps of select American highways with onboard vehicle sensors, GPS receivers, cameras and servos to steer, brake and accelerate without drivers needing to keep their hands on the wheel. Infrared sensors continually monitor the driver to make sure they’re paying attention to the road and surroundings — so there’s no nodding off while the system is activated, no reading a book and no taking your eyes off the road for more than a few seconds. If you do, it’ll yell at you, and if you still don’t pay attention, it’ll shut itself off and bring the car to a halt assuming that something’s happened to you.