Tesla’s Autopilot a ‘distant second’ to GM’s Super Cruise system in Consumer Reports testing

A steering wheel light bar and cluster icons indicates the status of Super Cruise™ and will prompt the driver to return their attention to the road ahead if the system detects driver attention has turned away from the road too long. 

Source: General Motors

General Motors’ Super Cruise system topped Consumer Reports testing of driver-assisted systems, leaving Tesla’s Autopilot “a distant second,” the consumer research nonprofit reported Wednesday.

Super Cruise on a Cadillac CT6 sedan scored 69 out of 100 points in Consumer Reports’ testing. Tesla’s Autopilot on a Model Y was second at 57, followed by Ford Motor’s Co-pilot 360 system at 52 and Audi’s Pre-sense at 48. Consumer Reports tested 17 systems as part of its testing.

The emerging technologies were ranked based on their capabilities and performance, ease of use, safety and driver monitoring and engagement. All of the systems, despite some of their names, require drivers to maintain attention to the road.

The programs are meant to help relieve driver fatigue and stress. They can provide convenience and safety for drivers by controlling driver functions such as acceleration and braking and keeping the vehicle in its lane.

GM’s Super Cruise allows hands-free driving on more than 200,000 miles of pre-mapped highways in the U.S. and Canada, while other systems such as Autopilot offer greater capabilities but require drivers to “check-in” by touching the steering wheel.

The main differences between Super Cruise and Autopilot include a driver-facing infrared camera to monitor attentiveness and the pre-mapped roads that work with onboard radars, sensors and cameras to drive the vehicle.

This is the second time Super Cruise has topped Consumer Reports’ testing of such systems. In 2018, the GM system topped Autopilot as well as other systems from Nissan Motor and Volvo in the first-ever rankings of such systems by Consumer Reports.

GM has said it will expand Super Cruise to 22 vehicles by 2023, including a next-generation system with greater capabilities on the Cadillac Escalade SUV and recently unveiled GMC Hummer EV pickup.

The Autopilot system tested by Consumer Reports was not the so-called “Full-Self Driving Capability” update the automaker began beta testing this month. Regarding that update, Consumer Reports on Oct. 18 called the system a misnomer as it offers “cutting edge, even cool” updates but it’s not fully self-driving.

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