Shortly after we pulled on to Interstate 280, just north of Palo Alto, California, the Cadillac CT6 signaled to me that I was now ready to drive hands free.
Seconds later, I pressed a button. The top of the steering wheel lit up with a green light and the car was now under the control, and vision, of Super Cruise. I took my hands off the wheel and my feet off the pedals and for the next 15 minutes, as we drove through rush hour traffic, I did not touch the steering wheel.
"This takes driving to a whole new level," said Robb Bolio, one of the lead engineers for autonomous-drive vehicles at General Motors. "Super Cruise lets you do other things, like make phone calls, but it's not tedious or stressful. And on top of all that, it enhances your safety when you are driving."
Bolio and other executives at Cadillac expect Super Cruise is a game changer — the type of technology that will prompt luxury car buyers to consider Cadillac instead of passing on the GM brand and opting for Mercedes, BMW or Lexus.
But more than anything, Super Cruise is GM's answer to Tesla's Autopilot technology, which made a huge splash when it was introduced two years ago. Autopilot dominates the conversation when car buyers and the general public talk about self-driving cars.