Cadillac showcases semi-autonomous driving system [Video]

Cadillac's Super Cruise could be mass-produced in about five years.

Thanks in part to the work carried out by companies like Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Volvo, and of course Google, self-driving cars are closer to mass-production than they have ever been.

Cadillac is the latest automobile manufacturer to reveal its semi-autonomous driving system, which it says could be mass-produced in about five years.

Like many other similar setups, Cadillac's system (dubbed Super Cruise internally) is powered by a host of sensors, cameras, radars, and a GPS unit. These all work together to provide an accurate 360-degree view around the vehicle, as well as information about the road surface.

Systems such as adaptive cruise control, virtual front and rear bumpers, and automatic lane-centering gather data and use it to safely accelerate, brake, and steer the car.

Cadillac says that its semi-autonomous driving system was not designed to drive the car entirely on its own. The driver must always remain alert and ready to take control of the vehicle in the event of an emergency.

Furthermore, for the time being Super Cruise is designed to work exclusively on the freeway, and only in favorable weather conditions.

Although semi-autonomous vehicles are still several years (and laws) away, Cadillac says that some of the vehicles that it will be introducing this year already feature technology that is a precursor to self-driving systems.