CLEVELAND -- "Let go." It's what I told myself when taking my hands off the steering wheel of a 2018 Cadillac CT6 at 70 mph to allow the semiautonomous Super Cruise system to take control of the car.
It's something I had been waiting to do since I tested a prototype of the system at General Motors' Milford Proving Ground in 2012. The experience was liberating, mostly stress-free and a glimpse into how driver-assist systems and autonomous vehicles can redefine American road trips.
Super Cruise, which Cadillac touts as the "world's first true hands-free driving system for the freeway," worked as advertised for most of a two-day, nearly 900-mile road trip from this Ohio city to Memphis, Tenn., with a stop in Chicago.
My driving partner and I rarely had to take control of the car on the nearly 550-mile trek from Chicago to Memphis, including the final 250 miles I drove without touching the pedals or steering wheel outside of construction zones and a brief stop.
The system allows drivers to enjoy the views and their passengers in the car, while making sure they pay enough attention to the road in case something unexpected occurs.
Despite not being able to change lanes like some systems on the market, Super Cruise is as, if not more, advanced than any technology available to consumers today. That includes Tesla Inc.'s Autopilot.
Most notably, Super Cruise doesn't make drivers continually touch the steering wheel to ensure they are alert and actually the driver. It also rides smoother and communicates better when the driver needs to take control.