Luxury brand Cadillac is getting nearer to its vision of self-driving vehicles with an advanced active safety and driver assistance system that it is introducing on the all-new 2013 Cadillac XTS. This is easily the most technologically advanced production car that Cadillac has ever offered. The available Driver Assistance Package will arrive to the XTS this fall.
It will use sensor fusion – the first General Motors system of its kind to do so. Sensor fusion allows for the integration of a wide range of sensing and positioning technologies that can alarm drivers of road hazards and help them prevent crashes.
It is considered a building block to develop semi-autonomous and fully autonomous vehicles, which are created to sustain lane position and get used to to traffic environments. GM hopes that the more advanced self-driving technology, which could enable semi and fully autonomous driving, will be offered by the end of the decade. In developing sensor fusion, GM is drawing on its experience with The Boss, a fully autonomous Chevrolet Tahoe that was developed by GM, Carnegie Mellon University and other partner companies. Its name is derived from GM R&D founder Charles F. “Boss” Kettering.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Urban Challenge competition in 2007 was won by The Boss, which navigated through 60 miles of urban traffic, busy intersections and stop signs in shorter than six hours. Another factor that has led to the progression of sensor fusion development is GM’s work on the EN-V, three semi-autonomous electric concept vehicles shown at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.
EN-V can be driven both manually and autonomously as it had combined GPS with vehicle-to-vehicle communications, distance-sensing and object detection technologies. Driving it autonomously means that it automatically chooses the quickest route based on real-time traffic information.