Cadillac axes Escalade’s hands-free driving function due to lack of chips

Escalade 2022 is in production, but it lacks an important feature when the first customers take their new trip: Hands-free driving mode known as Super Cruise. It is the latest feature to get the ax due to the global semiconductor shortage, which has been a particularly major drain for the automotive industry.

The shortage also forces Cadillac to stop adding Super Cruise to CT4 and CT5 sedans, according to Roadshow. As the Bolt is not currently for sale due to the massive battery recall, this means that the parent company General Motors’ most advanced technological feature is currently not available on any new car.

“[W]We are confident in our team’s ability to find creative solutions to mitigate the supply chain situation and resume offering the function to our customers as soon as possible, says Cadillac. Roadshow.

Super Cruise debuted on CT6 (which has since been discontinued). It uses a variety of sensors, software and eye tracking to allow drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel on pre-shortened roads — as long as they keep an eye on where the vehicle is driving. Cadillac announced in 2018 that it would expand the feature to all cars and SUVs in its range, and that the Super Cruise would also come to other GM models. Other carmakers are working on similar features as Ford, which calls its own system BlueCruise. (GM is currently suing Ford over the name.)

Car manufacturers have had to make a number of tough choices due to chip shortages. In some cases, they can not get the ones they need, and in others, they have to prioritize where to use the chips able to few. GM has so far focused more on cutting specific features from certain models where possible, such as wireless charging, HD radio, automatic stop-start and in some trucks a fuel economy module. But it also had to briefly stop production at various factories altogether, just like pretty much all of its peers.

Losing Super Cruise on the Escalade, however, is particularly noteworthy because GM has spent the last few years positioning Cadillac as the brand most representative of the automaker’s future. Cadillac is where GM first began rolling out the Super Cruise and will also sell one of the first electric cars built on the parent company’s new electric car platform.

The Escalade from 2022 was to be a flagship in this push. GM and Cadillac graced it with a massive touch screen and equipped it with Super Cruise. But now this feature is in limbo for the luxury SUV, and with no end to chip shortages in sight, it may take a while before buyers get the opportunity back.

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