What is Super Cruise?

Available on Chevrolet, Cadillac, and GMC vehicles, Super Cruise is the rare advanced driver-assistance system that makes hands-free driving possible.

2020 Cadillac CT6 on road next to grassCadillac

Super Cruise, under certain circumstances, will perform the basic tasks of driving so that the driver may remove their hands from the wheel and their feet from the pedals. It works on more than 200,000 miles of divided freeway, and GM continues to map more areas. The system uses adaptive cruise control (informed by cameras and, in some vehicles, radar) to maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle ahead as well as relying on additional sensors plus high-definition map data and GPS to keep the car centered in its lane and ensure the vehicle hasn’t left a Super Cruise-allowed zone. The latest version of this tech can do automatic lane changes and even works with a trailer in tow.

The driver remains responsible for the vehicle’s actions and must keep their eyes on the road and be ready to take over at a moment’s notice. Super Cruise ensures the driver is paying attention to the road by tracking their head position with an interior-mounted infrared camera. What’s more, the steering-wheel rim incorporates a light bar that turns different colors to indicate the system’s status. A solid green bar means that Super Cruise is engaged and steering the vehicle. If that green bar flashes, it means the driver needs to pay better attention to the road. A blue bar indicates that you’ve taken over control of the steering wheel yet Super Cruise remains active. To have the system resume steering, hold the wheel steady in the lane until the green bar returns. If the light flashes red, Super Cruise needs you to take control immediately, either because your eyes have strayed from the road again or because it can’t handle the current situation. Don’t act and it will soon turn solid red and send pulses through the wheel while beeping at you and slowing the vehicle. After that, if you receive another red warning, a voice prompt will tell you to take over. Ignore it and the car will come to a stop and refuse to engage Super Cruise until the next ignition cycle.

What Cars Have Super Cruise?

Super Cruise made its debut in 2017, appearing first in Cadillac's CT6 flagship sedan and beating everyone else to the hands-free table. GM has since expanded the tech’s availability to other Caddys and brands in recent years—at least before the semiconductor chip shortage delayed various rollouts. Currently, you can find it only on the Chevy Bolt EUV, where it costs $2,200 and lacks the ability to make automatic lane changes. But expect to see the full suite in future versions of the Cadillac Escalade, CT4, CT5, and XT6 as well as the top trim levels of the GMC Sierra 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500. In time, GM plans to put Super Cruise in the GMC Hummer EV and Sierra EV, Cadillac Lyriq, and Chevrolet Silverado EV, too.

As for the competition, Ford’s similar BlueCruise system doesn’t work on as many roads as Super Cruise, nor does it perform automatic lane changes, but Dearborn is working on that. Tesla’s Full Self-Driving tech pushes the envelope with publicly beta-tested features that allow it to negotiate interchanges, but it does not allow for hands-free driving (despite what YouTube daredevils would have you believe) with the exception of the Smart Summon feature, which can drive the car at low speeds through parking lots with no one in the vehicle.

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Carl Malek
Carl Malek is an automotive journalist with more than 10 years of professional experience. He covers all aspects of the automobile industry but specializes in vehicle reviews and industry analysis with strong knowledge in both fields. When he is not writing, he enjoys spending quality time with his wife Emily and being involved in other family activities.