Your Camaro is one step closer to having Bumblebee capabilities.
Thanks to mail correspondence between the NHTSA and General Motors, we now know that the General is about to roll out semi-autonomous technology on its vehicles beginning in 2017. Dubbed “Super Cruise,” the system works similarly to Tesla’s autopilot by giving drivers the ability to press a button while cruising on the freeway, enabling them to take their hands off the wheel, relinquishing control to the car. As told by Reuters, the letter details what would happen if the driver refuses to take back control.
In that case, the car would issue a number of visual, physical, and auditory alerts. If those are left unanswered, the car will turn on the hazard lights and begin to slow down before coming to a complete stop. Like the first version of Autopilot, Super Cruise only works on roads that don’t have too many twists and when conditions allow for its use. However, GM’s system goes a step further than Tesla's. Embedded in the vehicle is a camera with facial recognition software that can tell when a driver drifts off to sleep. When it senses the ZZZs, it sounds a prerecorded warning, flashes a warning prompting the driver to take control, and even vibrates the seat.
Drivers that are too far gone to reach, or those who want to experiment with the limits of the system, will then get a wake up call from an On Star representative. We can already see the conspiracy theorists’ minds churning, mulling over the fact that cars will now come with cameras that record the driver just to check up on them. GM was initially planning on releasing Super Cruise in the 2016 CT6, but has decided to hold off until 2017. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has been following the industry, especially as other American automakers like Ford and Alfa Romeo (a subsidiary of FCA) plan to add semi-autonomous features like traffic jam assist. Welcome to the future.