Where will GM's Super Cruise go next?

Photo credit: MIKE WAYLAND

DETROIT -- General Motors' Super Cruise technology continues to arrive in dealerships on high-end Cadillac CT6 models.

The semiautonomous driving system is rightfully debuting with GM's luxury brand, but company executives confirm it will eventually roll out to other brands.

Where will Super Cruise go next?

Based on the roughly $66,300 price tag for a CT6 with the system, the Chevrolet Corvette or high-end GMC pickups would make sense. But buyers of those vehicles are likely some of the last to want a hands-free driving experience.

How about GMC's Yukon and Yukon XL Denali models? Also in the price range and it would be great for drivers of the family haulers to be able to turn around and tell kids to settle down. But those vehicles won't likely get the system until they are redesigned around 2020.

So what's left? Buick. Yes, the brand behind your grandfather's sedan just may be the front-runner to receive the safest, most technologically advanced highway hands-free driving system available.

But not just Buick. Its new Avenir subbrand, which has begun arriving in dealerships as the top trim on the 2018 Enclave, would be ideal.

Super Cruise could significantly help GM bolster Avenir's reputation and awareness to the levels of GMC's Denali subbrand -- a feat easier said than done.

It's understandable why GM initially didn't launch Avenir with Super Cruise. It wants to give Cadillac some exclusivity with the system before giving it to the luxury brand's "obtainable luxury" cousin.

But it would be smart for Avenir to receive Super Cruise sooner rather than later, and executives at the Renaissance Center in Detroit understand that.

Duncan Aldred, the global head of Buick and GMC, and Phil Brook, head of U.S. marketing for Buick and GMC, test drove CT6 models with Super Cruise to let executives experience the technology.

"It's amazing how different it is … just even looking forward, it's just more relaxing," Aldred said last month during a media event near Detroit. "It's incredible."

Aldred said there are "no firm plans" for Buick to receive Super Cruise, but he would "look to adopt that technology when the opportunity arrives."

The steering wheel of the redesigned Enclave appears to have a position for the Super Cruise's light bar and steering wheel button, but a Buick spokesman says the bar is a design feature to differentiate trims.

Need another reason for a Buick-Super Cruise collaboration? Look no further than the name Avenir, which means "future" in French. If GM truly believes the subbrand is the "future" of Buick, it needs the best technologies.

You can reach Michael Wayland at mwayland@crain.com -- Follow Michael on Twitter: @MikeWayland

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