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2017 Cadillac Will Sport Limited Automated Driving Capabilities

DETROIT (WWJ) - General Motors says it will introduce a car with limited automated driving capabilities in the 2017 model year.

"It will be hands free, and it will do things that adaptive cruise control doesn't do today," says General Motors Vice President of Research and Development Jon Lauckner.

The system is based on a product that GM has been testing, that the company--in house--calls Super Cruise.

"It will appear for the first time on an all new Cadillac that's going to enter a segment where we don't compete today," said GM CEO Mary Barra.

While the company won't talk about the specific product, General Motors has said that it will soon put out a high-end Cadillac aimed to compete with flagship vehicles from Mercedes, BMW and Lexus.

Barra, speaking to open the World Congress on Intelligent Transportation, saw the system as something that could be used to relieve the tension of traffic jams, and on the open road.

GM says the vehicle will also have technology to monitor the driver, and make sure the driver remains engaged.

Barra also announced that General Motors will have "vehicle to vehicle" technology, in the 2017 Cadillac CTS. That technology communicates roadway information between cars to prevent vehicles from crashing.

"Starting the conversation with Cadillac will help us establish the science and engineering with luxury customers, who are incredibly influential," she said.

With the start of the Intelligent Transportation Congress, GM, Ford and the University of Michigan announced they will work together to connect a 120 mile stretch of highway, so that it can send information to vehicles.

"At MDOT, our goal is zero deaths on the road system," said State Transportation Director Kirk Steudle. Establishing this corridor capitalizes on a tremendous public-private partnership, and will allow us to test ways for vehicles to communicate with the infrastructure and with other vehicles to prevent many crashes, ultimately saving thousands of lives."

The connected highway program will cover parts of I-94, I-96, I-696 and I-75, as well as a portion of U.S. 23 in Washtanaw County.

'When it's in place, this will be the largest enabled stretch of highway in the country," said GM's Jon Lauckner. "So, it's an important announcement."

All of the announcements come as the industry is moving toward what's called "active safety", which aims at preventing crashes.

For GM CEO Mary Barra, it's all about saving lives.

"Let's strive to build cars and trucks that don't crash."

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