Cadillac has one of the best self-driving vehicle systems on the market — and, if you’re a highway driver, it’s the very best system, allowing you to remain pretty much hands-free for the duration of your highway travel. So why is it only in one model, the CT6?
I’m completely baffled by this, and it seems everyone else is, too — especially because Cadillac recently rolled out a new SUV, the XT6, which will debut this summer … again, without Super Cruise. I say "again" because the automaker also recently rolled out a smaller crossover, the XT4, which also doesn’t offer Super Cruise. So what exactly does it take to get Super Cruise around here?
Interestingly, last summer Cadillac announced that Super Cruise would be in every single model by 2020, which is now just 10 months away. And yet, Cadillac keeps rolling out vehicles that don’t yet offer Super Cruise. So is the plan to just delay the launch of this highly desirable feature? This feature that Cadillac surely spent an enormous amount of time and effort to develop? And are they really going to hit that 2020 target, considering that the XT6 is a 2020 model, and it’s already been announced that it won’t have Super Cruise?
Interestingly, Jalopnik spoke to Steve Carlisle, Cadillac’s new boss, and asked this question, and he gave a somewhat confusing answer about product cadence and readiness of technology. The product cadence answer ("Do we put Super Cruise in a product that’s getting close to the end of its life or do we put it in at the beginning of its life? This strategy reflects putting it in at the beginning of its life — not necessarily right at launch.") didn’t really make much sense to me, as he seems to be saying it’s best to debut a vehicle and debut Super Cruise in that vehicle later.
More worryingly was his answer about "readiness of technology" ("We also want to consider the readiness of the technology"), which seems to imply the technology may not be ready for implementation in other models, even though it’s already available in the consumer-market CT6. If the technology is ready for that vehicle, it had better be ready for all vehicles.
But for whatever reason, Cadillac is going very slowly with this technology, which really is one of the best tech features in the car industry. Normally, when an automaker has a competitive advantage like this — a self-driving car! — they quickly try to get it in as many vehicles as possible. Not Cadillac. It’s a shame, and I’m really disappointed that it hasn’t rolled out on a larger scale.