Cadillac axles Escalade hands-free function due to lack of chips
The 2022 Escalade will go into series production, but when the first customers pick up their new vehicle, it will be missing an important feature: the hands-free Super Cruise driving mode. It’s the newest feature to get the ax due to the global semiconductor shortage that has hit the auto industry particularly hard.
The shortage is also loudly forcing Cadillac to hold off adding Super Cruise to the CT4 and CT5 sedans Roadshow. With the Bolt not currently on sale due to the massive battery recall, it means that parent company General Motors’ most advanced technological feature is not currently available on any new car.
“[W]We are confident that our team can find creative solutions to alleviate the supply chain situation and bring the feature to our customers as soon as possible, ”said Cadillac Roadshow.
Super Cruise made its debut on the CT6 (which has since been discontinued). It uses a variety of sensors, software, and eye tracking so drivers can take their hands off the steering wheel on mapped-out roads – as long as they’re watching where the vehicle is going. Cadillac announced in 2018 that it would expand the feature to all cars and SUVs in its product range and that Super Cruise would also come to other GM models. Other automakers are working on similar features, like Ford calling its own system BlueCruise. (GM is currently suing Ford over the name.)
Automakers have had to make a number of tough decisions because of the shortage of chips. In some cases they can’t get the chips they need, and in others they need to prioritize where to use the chips they are using can will. GM has so far focused more on reducing certain features of certain models where possible, such as wireless charging, HD radio, auto-stop-start and, on some trucks, a fuel-saving module. But it also had to temporarily suspend production at various plants, like pretty much all of its competitors.
The loss of Super Cruise on the Escalade is particularly noteworthy, however, given that GM has spent the past few years positioning Cadillac as the brand most representative of the automaker’s future. Cadillac is where GM first began rolling out Super Cruise and will also sell one of the first electric vehicles built on the parent company’s new electric vehicle platform.
The 2022 Escalade should be a flagship in this advance. GM and Cadillac adorned it with a massive touchscreen and equipped it with Super Cruise. Now, however, that feature is pending for the luxury SUV, and with no end to the chip shortage in sight, it could be a while before buyers get the option back.