MILFORD, Mich. – Sometime before the end of this decade, General Motors will put a car on the road that can almost drive itself.
The automaker says the system, called Super Cruise, uses radar and cameras to steer the car and keep it between lane lines.
Also, the radar keeps the car a safe distance from cars ahead of it, and it will brake to a complete stop if it is necessary.
GM and other automakers such as Mercedes, BMW and Lexus already offer radar-guided cruise control systems that keep their cars a safe distance from other vehicles and even stop before a crash. They also have systems that warn drivers if theyre drifting out of their lane.
But until recently, engineers havent been able to steer with computers, according to GM.
The steering control is the big additional piece, said John Capp, GMs director of electrical controls and active safety technology.
Last week, engineers showed off the system for reporters at the companys testing grounds in Milford, Mich., north of Detroit. The system adds control of electric power steering to off-the-shelf technology thats now available. Although they still have bugs to work out, a Cadillac SRX SUV equipped with the technology worked very well.
Capp says a lot of development work still needs to be done about road conditions, reaction of sensors, visibility of lane lines and how the system will interact with the driver, who still would be in control and can easily override the computer system.