Hands-free driving technology is coming to the 2021 Cadillac Escalade and the brand's CMO says it's part of GM's effort to steer the luxury SUV market closer to self-driving
The feature is called Super Cruise and fully controls acceleration and braking when enabled. It can also automatically change lanes by activating a turn signal stalk in either direction.
In the mode, the car will also automatically adjust its position within a lane for driver comfort when another vehicle passes.
"There is a moment when you take your hands off the wheel and it's terrifying and exhilarating and then you never know how you lived without it," Melissa Grady, chief marketing officer at Cadillac, told Cheddar.
Super Cruise only works on compatible highways that have lanes physically separated from opposing traffic. That includes 200,000 miles of highway in the U.S. in Canada, according to GM.
It's worth noting that the Escalade is not an autonomous vehicle. The car still alerts drivers when a situation emerges that they must resume control. But it does seem to be a step in that direction.
The new tech signals GM's desire to keep up with changing consumer expectations toward driver-assist and self-driving technologies.
"With any product, you're looking at 'what are the next 10 years going to bring and how do we really go beyond what we can even imagine as consumers?'" Grady said.