Enlarge /. 2019 Cadillac CT6 engaged with Super Cruise.
I used to get annoyed about General Motors' Super Cruise. By geofencing the combination of adaptive cruise control and lane keeping so that it can only be used on highways with split lanes, and with a driver surveillance system with eye tracking that Super Cruise only works when the driver has their eyes on the road, it works very well and in a narrow operational design area that should exclude any possibility of running into a parked car.
After trying it out in the Cadillac CT6 in 2018, I was so impressed that I repeated Alex Roy and urged GM to make Super Cruise available in as many models as possible ASAP. GM is doing this slowly. Even consumer reports were impressed. But in all this time, I've probably never read the fine print.
Well the folks at MotorTrend did and guess what? It turns out that if you purchase a 2018, 2019, or 2020 CT6 model year, you are actually only getting a free three-year trial of Super Cruise functionality. After that, you must have an active OnStar account for Super Cruise to continue working:
New owners of the 2018 (manufactured September 6, 2017 and later), 2019 * and 2020 models will receive the Super Cruise package, which includes 3 years of OnStar to support functionality. An OnStar plan must be purchased to continue Super Cruise functionality after the 3 year Super Cruise package expires.
I don't think I've ever seen this before.
GM told MotorTrend that a CT6's adaptive cruise control and lane keeping would continue to work even with an inactive OnStar account. This would not be geofenced or use the driver monitoring system, and it would also prompt you to put your hands on the steering wheel every 15 seconds. Otherwise it would be disabled.
I have to say I feel a little misled. Sure, I didn't see that little fine print, but it doesn't seem like any of my colleagues have either. (Except Bozi, but then he's more of a machine than a human. And I think the Philadelphia Inquirer.) It's certainly not a thing that GM ever raised when discussing the system with the media.
Given the cost of a new Cadillac CT6, it's likely that an owner will keep their OnStar subscription – the cheapest is $ 25 per month – after the first three years. And of course the car needs to be able to receive map updates remotely. Maybe I'm not upset about anything. But does that also apply to buyers of cheaper models as soon as the function is available in the range? Or for people buying a used CT6?
If 2020 has taught us anything, expect the worst (and even then, you will be disappointed).