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PostitusPostitatud: 05 Aug 2017, 08:32 
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Liitunud: 01 Nov 2005, 21:11
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Written by Matt Burns for TechCrunch.

Cadillac is about to start selling vehicles with an autonomous driving mode and TechCrunch got an early look at the technology in a production car.

"Wait for the green light and let go," the Cadillac engineer instructed. That's it. The car was driving itself. I, the person behind the steering wheel, was no longer the driver. Cadillac's Super Cruise system was driving.

The 2018 Cadillac CT6 sped along U.S. 23 under the direction of Super Cruise. Traffic was light and the weather was perfect. The system held the Cadillac sedan in lane and responded appropriately to traffic. I spent an hour on the expressway and touched the steering wheel and pedals only a few times.

Super Cruise made the drive boring. I think that's the point.

Here's how it works

Super Cruise is available once the driver navigates the vehicle onto an expressway. When ready, a little icon is displayed by the speedometer and the driver hits a button on the steering wheel to switch it on.

Once the light bar on top of the steering wheel turns green, the driver can let go. Super Cruise is driving.This steering wheel light bar is key to the operation. When green, the driver knows Super Cruise is in control. Blue means the driver interrupted the system to change lanes and red means Super Cruise needs the driver to confirm they're paying attention and not checking Twitter.

When active, Super Cruise controls the steering and speed, but again, only on an expressway. This is done through onboard sensors and using GPS and mapping data. GM employed GeoDigital, a startup in GM Venture's portfolio, to map 160,000 miles of expressways in the U.S. and Canada. The car company then used Super Cruise-equipped vehicles to test each mile.

This combination of onboard systems combined with map data makes the system feel polished and sophisticated. During my admittedly limited time in the vehicle, the CT6 precisely held its position in the lane and confidently handled sweeping curves at speed. There was no wiggling or squirming — from the Cadillac or myself. The car was in control, and I felt safe.

Although the driving conditions were perfect for my test ride, during adverse weather, the system will work normally until one of the key systems is unable to operate. Say heavy rain is affecting the front facing camera from capturing data, or side cameras are unable to see lane markers because of snow — at this point, Super Cruise will alert the driver, and after the driver has regained the wheel, the system will turn off.

Don't call Super Cruise Autopilot

Super Cruise is Cadillac's answer to Tesla's Autopilot. The system shares a lot of the same marketable points, but there are key differences. For one, Super Cruise only works on expressways. Cadillac's system also lacks several autonomous features found on Autopilot including the ability to pull the car out of a garage and change lanes by using the turn signals.

Cadillac's version of this technology is, as the Super Cruise name suggests, a smart version of cruise control.

Cadillac is quick to point out Super Cruise is the first true hands-free driving system for the highway. That's a direct shot at Tesla's Autopilot, which requires drivers to put their hands on the steering wheel every few minutes. Cadillac's version uses an IR sensor mounted on the steering column that monitors various aspects of the driver to ensure they're paying attention. During my time with the CT6, I went a significant amount of time without touching the steering wheel.

Tesla's system is slightly different. After it debuted in 2015, videos started popping up showing drivers climbing in the backseat while the car was driving. Because some people are idiots, Tesla had to implement a system to ensure drivers were still alert and part of that is requiring the driver to touch the wheel.

It feels like Cadillac built Super Cruise with these Tesla goofball videos in mind. Sensible safety checks are present throughout the system even though, in the end, drivers do not have touch the steering wheel at all to use Super Cruise.

Limited availability, extensive safety

Super Cruise's IR sensors tracks eye location and head movements. As long as the driver looks at the road every seven to 20 seconds, the system works as expected. The faster the vehicle goes, the shorter this interval becomes. Essentially, if you're stuck in traffic, crawling along at 20 mph, you're less likely to make a mess eating a taco.

Let's say a driver fails to watch the road. At this point the car uses different levels of alerts that escalate in severity. First, the light bar on top of the steering will start to flash green and then red. If this doesn't cause the driver to look back at the road, the seat starts to vibrate or an alarm sounds and the car starts to coast.

If a driver fails to respond to the previous warnings, the alerts go batty. A spoken alert will urge the driver to regain control of the vehicle. Meanwhile, the car had activated the hazard lights and is using onboard sensors to safely comes to a stop in its lane. A call is also placed to OnStar to see if the driver needs medical attention. If it comes to this level, Super Cruise cannot be reactivated until the car is turned off and turned back on.

These systems follow a logical order of operations. I tried to break them during my drive in the CT6. Closing my eyes activated the system as well as looking away too long. It's nearly impossible to miss the flashing light on the steering wheel. The alarm is loud. Though I didn't test the final warning protocols, my experience tells me that a person would have to work hard (or be in genuine distress) to hit this level.

Super Cruise is nearly a SAE Level 3 automated driving system, though it's still likely Level 2 technically for the purposes of regulatory compliance, given that it requires a driver to be paying most of the time. But GM won't say specifically how they classify the car by SAE standards. Instead, during my time with a handful of Cadillac engineers and marketing executives, when pressed, they would completely push aside assigning a label. Instead, they said repeatedly that this is a "hands-free driving system for the highway," explaining that most consumers do not understand the SAE levels anyway.

Cadillac built a fantastic system with the Super Cruise. Its next task is to sell it to consumers.

Super Cruise is unlike anything currently offered for sale from the Detroit Three automakers. As such, it's likely Super Cruise will be the first autonomous system buyers will experience. Dealers will have to answer plenty of what-ifs, and it's important to remember that Cadillac salespeople are not Cadillac employees. Tesla salespeople are employed directly by Tesla.

Cadillac has a large task of educating dealers and consumers alike about the benefits and limitations of Super Cruise. It won't be an easy task. General Motors will have to rely on independently owned dealerships to correctly position this product and train buyers on its capabilities.

General Motors has packaging on its side. For better or worse, Super Cruise is built into the CT6 like a standard system and not something a driver must use every time they're on an expressway. This should help timid buyers.

Super Cruise feels like a feature ready for the masses. The system is deeply integrated into the vehicle and using it is akin to using cruise control or turning on the lights. There's a button for Super Cruise on the steering wheel. Press the button when the system is available and it works. It's that easy to turn a driver into a passenger.

Peaministri nõunik kinnitab, et ministrid on väga mures ja töötavad kogu aeg selle nimel, et rahvast oleks rohkem

PostitusPostitatud: 09 Okt 2017, 19:12 
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Liitunud: 01 Nov 2005, 21:11
Postitusi: 5360
Asukoht: Tallinn
Skype Kasutaja: eldorado67
Even though Super Cruise is not a fully autonomous system, it incorporates redundancies like those used in aircraft to ensure failsafe operation. Before taking off on a 700-mile, 11-hour test drive of the system — and putting my life in its hands without my hands on the wheel — I sat down with Daryl Wilson, lead development engineer for Super Cruise, to get a deep dive into the system and its critical safety backups.

Autoblog: First, what makes Super Cruise different from similar systems?

Wilson: The key differentiator for Super Cruise is hand-free driving. It's an industry first in that respect. Our competitors require the driver at minimum to place their hands on the wheel with some frequency to ensure that the car knows that the driver is there. We don't.

Two key technologies allow us to do this. One is our Driver Attention System, which is our methodology for making sure the driver is engaged with the vehicle and engaged with the road. This is a driver assist system, not a fully autonomous system. So it requires driver engagement.

We use an infrared camera that constantly monitors the driver's face to determine the direction they're looking. We're looking for the driver to be what we call on-road — not on the center stack, not to left or right or down. That's all done by the tracking of the face. We also track that the eyes are open. It's infrared because at night you need to illuminate the face and you can't be shining a light into the driver's face.

Then we have our lidar mapping that provides a foundation for control and redundancy to ensure safe performance.

Autoblog: How does the mapping act as a redundant feature?

Wilson: This system is only for use on divided, controlled access highways. What I mean by a divided highway is something more than a painted line between you and oncoming traffic. Whether that's a grassy area in between the lanes or a concrete barrier, anything that separates you from oncoming traffic. That's the divided highway part. The controlled access part is entrance ramps and exit ramps. Not with roads that cross at grade, with traffic crossing at the same level.

To do that we geofenced these roads to ensure that operation is only allowed in these conditions. We don't just recommend you use it there; we ensure that you only use it there. And we do that with our precision mapping that has mapped every road that Super Cruise will operate on, and combine that with highly accurate GPS that's continually updated to improve its accuracy. That combination ensures we're on the road we want to be on. It won't give you the option to operate anywhere else.

If in doubt, such as when the road design changes because of construction or other changes, we're not going to let the feature work there. We go back to rescan and verify that road. There are chunks of availability that are pulled away because we don't have a confident understanding of the road conditions. And that can happen if the lane lines are very poor or the conditions are such that we can't provide a safe path. This is backed up by the sensor data so we have very accurate knowledge of where we want that car to go.

Autoblog: What sort of sensor redundancies are part of the system?

Wilson: Forward-facing cameras and radar are our primary sensor inputs. But we also use the car's 360-dergee camera, the camera that shows you the overview of the car, for redundancies. If we have an issue with the front cameras, one of the 360-degree cameras can be a backup while we're giving the driver time to reengage with the car.

We also have hardware redundancies in case we have hardware failures. We have two central computing systems that are both running continuously so that if we have issues with one, we have the other as a backup. So there's a number of both hardware and sensor redundancies that ensure that we have safe operation and give time for the driver to reengaged with the vehicle if we have some kind of problem. So there's no question that we err on the side that we ensure we have safe operation.

Doug Newcomb,

Peaministri nõunik kinnitab, et ministrid on väga mures ja töötavad kogu aeg selle nimel, et rahvast oleks rohkem

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