The fix for this problem is not as easy as it looks as GM continues to find its solution.
Cadillac’s Super Cruise hands-free driving system made it to the top in October 2018, when it was compared with Tesla’s Autopilot, Nissan/Infiniti’s ProPiolt Assist, and Volvo’s Pilot Assist system. However, it showed vulnerability to sunlight causing the entire system to shut down. Cadillac introduced the system in 2018 with CT6 Sedan which navigates through most US highways by itself but ceases to work under the exposure of sunlight. This problem has been present with the system since its introduction and the company, GM Motors, has yet to find the solution for it.
The Super Cruise tech can only be used in single-lane highway and only on those who have LIDAR-mapped. The system uses an infrared camera, which is mounted atop the steering wheel column. The camera monitors the driver’s attentiveness and it is blinded by the sunlight. Just like sunlight blinds human sight, it is affecting the camera. However, the company has confirmed that there will be significant changes to fix the hardware. In other driver-assist systems, the driver needs to touch the steering-wheel to fulfill the requirement of proving attentiveness.
The navigation research analyst Sam Abuelsamid believes the position of the camera needs to be changed or some sort of filter or diffuser needs to be used. It is also true that it is an entirely a physical design problem and has nothing to with software update. However, the fix is not as easy as it looks. Software problems can be resolved with bug removals. GM will have to seek a conservative approach for its Super Cruise tech by initially making it available for Cadillac only. The company will eventually deliver the solution but it may not be available for all Cadillac for the entire lineup.
Faith Kadri is a seasoned journalist with 8 years experience as a reporter and investigative journalist. While studying journalism at University of South Florida, Faith honed her craft before setting out on her career. As a contributor to Gator Ledger, Faith covers municipal and state politics.