Neal Boudette (NY Times, Self-Driving Cadillac)


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Neil broad depth from the New York Times joins us now to talk about his experience. Behind the wheel of the 2018 Cadillac CT six with super cruise and Neil thank you for joining us. Here Neal first and foremost what is super cruise technology what what exactly does it do and what are its limitations. Okay well it's it's not eight. Totally self driving system it is known as a driver has been system but it has radar and cameras that look at the broad and and lot of computer chips and software. That when your on the highway and it divided highways like interstates where there's no pedestrians know intersections no red lights or anything like that. The car will it simply drive itself in you don't have to have your anthem during bill. The camera and it keeps track of your eyes and your head position and a longer looking straight ahead. The cart years itself or on the curb of the highway. On it won't work on exit ramps are entry Abrams but if you're out you don't driving Austin to us Springfield. Even crews get want to get on a Mass Pike. Even cruise and until your exit without having you beat career and and you're able that went down your bone occasionally you. Had to take notes something there you're on a phone call. You're pretty a position with with recruitment control. How much time to get behind the wheels this. I had Chris six days. The big trip by the it was a road trip from Ann Arbor, Michigan the South Bend, Indiana. Round trip that about 380 miles. Out of that I probably had my hands on the steering wheel are no more than 25. Most of the time I just sat back. I'm able look at videos of my own and held on top of that might be the still pointed toward the road to recruit new I was looking at the road and continued working. You kind of look the way too long is it lacked some light that you would. By great that he told you to hate snapped to attention. But it was done it was pretty incredible experience. How did you handle things such as not traffic in other vehicles I'm I'm I'm curious how it dealt with those situations. Very interesting question and so there are a couple times I was in the right lane and traffic was merging in front of and there is a car company. You know kind of not exactly cut me off but that bit dark in our enemy and if it hit the brakes hard. But it was firm enough. You know pretty much the way you might hit the brakes. A little bit suddenly and it. Uses radar to see what cars are and it and it maintain the certain following this and so it slowed down and let the car. Scooter head and then and then once there were some breathing room merit it sped up to. You know that this speed that I had elected. There was one time when I don't know I wouldn't let lane and concrete barrier just on the other side the O line. I felt like it was getting close I don't think it would've hit but I I get caught my hands on during reopen other than that. I didn't have anything that would extend it was close caller nerve wracking situation it was. Like it had its pretty impressive. This feature is only able to be used on highways at the moment is that correct. Yes so I have to give him some credit they've really engineered the system so it is very hard to see how anybody could you do it. In a dangerous way it only works on the highway it has. Buried buried deep in all the digital map this is like Google Maps. On steroids times a hundred. So it's got a very very detailed digital mat and very quickly GPS positioning god knows exactly where did and it you start heading into the. The exit ramp it knows. You're in an exit ramp you're no longer on the highway. And that's when the red light flash in the C vibrate and says okay you have to take control your the car now on. I'm so there's a pretty clean handoff from duke recruit back to the driver. I'm. You you when you come down on entry read you get on the highway you'd have to get centered in a lane and want it except a couple of seconds maybe a quarter mile or. Apple model it realizes OK now I'm on the open highway and in Elaine I'm not an entry ramp up not next wrapped. And duke recruit will flash green and it says are I'm on you can take your hands off. Let's say that I get and comfortable with this at some point either I mean heavy trafficker may be just you know I I just don't feel comfortable with that. How easy is it for me to take back control. Just put your hands on the steering wheel so I'm in the right lane and the car part of me is going to sixty miles an hour Iowa or seventy. I put my hand them the hearing we all plants in the mirror it does have. Blind spot detection and you move over into the next lane when you do that when you take control and change Blaine. Beat the warning late in the year and we all that goes either. Stated that you recruit to turn blue and that means you got control. But super cruised wolf will. Take over again once you get centered in and you blame there and so anytime you want you to put and those are real and and you've got a car. These features were seeing them pop up on cadillacs and other high end models at the moment. But the latest typically works this trickles down after a few years much like we saw with airbags and crews controlled begin with sure. This is going to be something that comes standard on a lot of vehicles in the next few years even if they are fully autonomous. Well we're now. Is GM is super cruise is only avail available on this particular Cadillac CT pick only out. Roll out on other Cadillac over the next you know. Year two years. And then yes sure it will trickle down and other models right now is part of an option pack is that right at about 5000 dollars so it is quite. Put you know ten years from now we'll probably see this on a lot of color. Better out there as. You know they they you know ramp up to work scale production mass production costs come down the cost of the radar sensors and cameras in every single. Good Neil thank you very much of the time it takes for a put the piece together. Neil would get from the New York Times talking about the almost self driving 2018 Cadillac CT six with super crew. Stats pretty fascinating stuff I mean the technologies impressive if you give people the text in a few questions. You wanna pass slower vehicle you do need to take control the car again past the vehicle. And and get back in the lane and you know we've continued driving again but you can vary it sounds like very easily take control of the car here there's no. You know weird handoff here where you know hey if you grab the wheel it's not gonna trying to Tug in the other direction. It's it's very interest in technology it's clearly still in the early adapter phase right now I think the starting price for this car they're talking about 75000 dollars and 3000 dollars. Not cheap for us not cheap right now. And my big question is you know living here along the 128 belts how does it do when I'm sitting in that you know traffic that's on 128 about 75% of the time. Stopping go traffic is it actually doing good job there I don't know Aussie. Yeah it's it's incremental progress but you you go back in and you look at how audits of evolved over time and you say okay. You know we eventually figure out how to do power steering and that came from you know your top and vehicles that went down to your lower and then you got cruise control and air bags. It always starts this way and so. I wouldn't be surprised again if you start to see. These types of systems becoming common. In the next three to five years and then effectively standard you know five plus years. Just because these types of things they can help to eliminate an awful lot of stress an awful lot of accidents. Yeah I mean accidents happening is the big thing it's going to be have automatic braking so if you're not paying attention anyway. One it's reminding your if you don't pay attention writes that idiot that just staring down a cellphone the seats gonna vibrate and the personal life so big moves here he exactly.