Tesla has been the reigning king of the semi-autonomous world for a couple years–if not in terms of functionality, certainly in terms of hype. But a recent string of high-profile accidents involving Autopilot has underscored the relative infancy of these technologies, and GM has kept that need for safety firmly in mind when developing their competitor, Super Cruise.
Edmunds put the two systems head-to-head, and the conclusions they came to aren’t all that surprising–both systems are capable of making mistakes and having hiccups, but overall, Cadillac’s system seems to be the more stable of the two. This is largely down to the circumstances in which you can use Super Cruise; unlike Autopilot, which can be activated anywhere that the car can keep track of lane markings, Super Cruise will only activate if you’re on a large, divided highway that Cadillac has mapped. Thus, Super Cruise will only work on authorized highways, dramatically increasing the predictability of the system.
That might be irritating, however, if you don’t commute on a large divided highway like an interstate in your CT6 (the only car where Super Cruise is currently available). For example, you can’t use it in cramped downtown traffic or on a small back road, even if it has crystal clear lane markings and no obstacles or other vehicles. In cases like these, Autopilot is probably the superior choice; as long as the road surface isn’t unpredictable, and the lane widths and markings don’t change too dramatically, it will work in many more situations than Super Cruise.
If you want to get your hands on one of these systems desperately, though, you’ll still have to wait a while. Cadillac plans to bring Super Cruise to its lower-priced models eventually, but that’ll probably take a couple years. And if you haven’t ordered your Model 3 yet, it’ll take even longer unless you want to pay upwards of $70,000 for a sufficiently equipped, pre-owned Model S or X. The price of being an early adopter.