There seems to be a lot of confusion about the semi-autonomous features of some cars. The Canadian Tesla driver and his passenger arrested for speeding down a highway while napping is one such example. It seems that there are, well, a lot of boneheads out there. That’s why Cadillac is warning 2021 Escalade owners about using the autonomous feature for certain conditions and situations.
The Escalade is chock-full of fantastic tech including its Super Cruise semi-autonomous hands-free driving system. Consumer Reports was so impressed it said it beat Tesla’s similar Autopilot system. But Super Cruise comes with a stern warning from Cadillac.
The one big NO! is over towing
Cadillac wants to make sure drivers understand that while Super Cruise is super cool, it is not fully autonomous. It lists 14 situations where drivers should not attempt using it. The one big NO! is over towing.
The Escalade’s owner’s manual warns that “Super Cruise should not be used in complex or uncertain driving conditions.” It then lists 14 specific instances including slippery or icy roads, tunnels, construction zones, city driving, and when approaching or exiting toll plazas. Yeah, this makes sense when you understand what semi-autonomous driving is. And is not.
There is too much complexity in towing for technology to master
But Cadillac warns that towing anything while using Super Cruise is a no-no. Don’t do it. There is too much complexity in towing anything for technology to be able to master. And for liability reasons, we doubt it ever will be able to, at least for the foreseeable future.
One would hope the price that Super Cruise adds to the 2021 Escalade’s bottom line would compel owners to know what they are buying. While it lists as a $2,500 option, there are other expenses involved. For it to be available one must also order the Driver Assist and Technology package. That’s an additional $3,650 option.
Combined, that makes Super Cruise a $6,150 option
Combined, that makes Super Cruise a $6,150 option. With an MSRP of between $76,000 and $103,000, you should be smart enough to understand the Super Cruise’s limitations. One can only hope that drivers will ease into using Super Cruise and then begin to understand what it can and can’t do.
Currently, GM’s Super Cruise is compatible with over 200,000 miles of America’s highways. That should increase over the next few years. And with a towing capacity of 8,200 lbs for two-wheel-drive versions, it can handle over four tons of fun. Just don’t ask it to do it autonomously.