Consumer Report Ranks Cadillac’s Super Cruise Best In The Market, Beating Tesla’s Autopilot

Tesla’s Autopilot is probably the best known semi-autonomous driving system, but Consumer Reports says it’s not the best system on the market.

In the publication’s first rankings of semi-autonomous driving technology, Cadillac’s Super Cruise took top honors as the system was deemed to fairly capable and one of the most aggressive in ensuring the driver is paying attention.

Consumer Reports focused on a number of different factors including how capable the systems are. As part of this effort, the organization looked at “how well the cars stayed centered in their lane, how often they touched lane lines and how many times they crossed those lines.” Testers also looked at how well the cars were able to control their speed and how they dealt with stop-and-go traffic.

Autopilot and Super Cruise were deemed to be the best as the systems could “reliably keep the vehicle centered in the lane for several miles at a time.” Nissan’s ProPilot Assist and Volvo’s Pilot Assist didn’t do nearly as well as these systems had problems on curving and hilly roads. Consumer Reports also says models equipped with these systems had frequent lane departures.

Autopilot was deemed the easiest to use, while Super Cruise was the best at identifying when the system can be used safely. This is likely a result of the fact that Super Cruise can only be used on highways that have been mapped by General Motors.

A lot of attention was given to how well the systems keep drivers engaged as research has shown that people can become overreliant on the technology and not pay enough attention to their surroundings. We’ve already seen a handful of accidents where this has occurred, so it’s important that semi-autonomous driving systems ensure drivers remain alert.

This is where Cadillac’s Super Cruise has an edge as the system uses a camera to monitor the driver’s eye movements. If the system detects the driver isn’t paying attention, it can alert them by flashing red lights, sounding audible alerts and vibrating the seat.

The whole review is worth a read but, if you’re just interested in the ranking, here they are. Super Cruise was deemed the best overall, while Autopilot came in second. Nissan and ProPilot Assist system was third and Volvo’s Pilot Assist was dead last. Speaking of the latter, Pilot Assist was hammered for having poor capacity and performance, poor ease of use and relatively poor safety in regards to monitoring the driver.

According to Consumer Reports’ vice president of advocacy, David Friedman, “Consumers stand to gain a lot from the convenience of these systems, but only if automakers put safety first.”

  • caddy45

    Great news for Cadillac. They need to really advertise this and bring it to all products (optional on lower-end models and standard on higher-end models).

  • Dennis James

    And it’s not even arrogantly named “Auto Pilot” and hasn’t killed anyone yet. Good job, Cadillac !

    • TheBelltower

      For that, people would have to actually buy it first.

  • S3XY

    Super Cruise works only on limited-access highways that have been mapped by the system. Tesla’s Autopilot will theoretically work on any road that has clearly defined lane markings.

    Super cruise is level 1 autonomy. Autopilot is Level 3 and will soon be Level 5

    • :/ Yurr

      Oh stop it Tesla employee.

      • El de Ngaan

        Or shareholder

    • Mr. EP9

      Someone’s butt hurt Super Cruise beat out Tesla. GM’s approach is far more sensible than what Tesla did. Which of course leaves lulls the driver in a false sense of security due to the name auto pilot and inevitably ends up crashing into firetrucks and parked cars.

    • brn

      Autopilot is level 2, not level 3. It will not soon be level 5.

      I give Tesla credit for what they’ve done, but let’s not fool ourselves into thinking it’s more than it is.

  • TrevP

    I do have to say Ive only driven a Model X and an XC90 Inscription and tested the self driving modes. I have to say that Tesla blew my mind, it was truly an awesome car. I’d still buy the Volvo over it tho.

    • TheBelltower

      I own the X and enjoy renting the XC90 from time to time. The Volvo is gorgeous, though the 4cyl is not right for such a large vehicle. Loved the Volvo but the X is in a different league entirely.


    • Mike anonymous

      I kind of like it. reminds me of racing cars and Ferraris.

  • An Existing Person

    Having tested and experienced plenty of these autonomous driving systems, “Autopilot” is nothing more than an advanced cruise control system. Mercedes, Infiniti, Volvo, and quite a few other manufacturers have driving systems on par, and in my opinion, adapt to road surfaces better whereas Tesla struggles to read at times. This isn’t to say the other manufacturers are far better, because most of these systems in cars are essentially upgraded cruise control, and have plenty of flaws themselves.

  • Interesting results, could it be start of Cadillac coming back into luxury car market…. after I think about it, maybe not. But you know it’s a good start.

  • smithjohn1a

    So, to be clear: they found that Tesla was the best at *driving*.

    They ranked Cadillac higher overall based on how heavily they weighted “keeping the driver engaged”.

    That might be a reasonable way of doing the ranking and consistent with the way consumer reports tries to do “full picture” evaluations.

  • ksegg

    It’s hilarious to me that Cadillac’s design language is far more interesting to me now than MB.

    How the mighty have fallen.

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