Cadillac says it will be ready to build a self-driving or "semi-autonomous" vehicle by the middle of this decade.
The luxury car brand of General Motors said it already has the technology to let cars manage themselves with the use of adaptive cruise control and lane centering software. Those technologies, which are available on the new Cadillac XTS and ATS models, include rear automatic breaking, forward collision alert, side blind zone alert, a head up display, and a range of other safety systems.
With the addition of radar, ultrasonic sensors, cameras and GPS map data, self-driving technology could be safely deployed, Cadillac said.
The brand is road testing the technology, which it calls "Super Cruise" and said it has the potential to improve driver performance and enjoyment.
The company said the key to semi-autonomous driving will be the integration of lane-centering technology that relies on forward-looking cameras and GPS map data to detect curves and other road characteristics.
Cadillac stressed that it has no desire to take the driver out of the driving equation.
“The primary goal of GM’s autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicle development is safety,” said John Capp, GM director of global active safety electronics and innovation. He said in a press release that autonomous driving systems paired with advanced safety systems "could help eliminate the crash altogether by interceding on behalf of drivers before they’re even aware of a hazardous situation."