GM’s New Self-Driving Cadillac

In the near future, General Motors expects to start selling a Cadillac vehicle that can drive itself. This luxury car could be on America’s roads by the summer of 2016. The company’s CEO recently revealed these plans during a speech that she delivered at Detroit’s Intelligent Transport Society.

Super Cruise

Speaking to ITS World Congress attendees, Mary Barra explained that an unnamed 2017 model will feature an advanced form of cruise control. The system enables a vehicle to intelligently operate its own brakes and accelerator during traffic jams and highway travel. She predicted that a fully self-driving auto might be available by 2020.

The Super Cruise system was first demonstrated about two years ago. It won’t allow drivers to safely fall asleep or watch movies behind the wheel. Motorists would have to remain aware of road conditions and take control when the situation becomes too complex for the automobile.

V2V Technology

Barra also announced that the 2017 model of the Cadillac CTS sedan will feature a new vehicle-to-vehicle communications system. The V2V technology enables a car to gather data from other nearby autos and use it to warn drivers about oncoming hazards. Cars with this feature share information on their current speeds and locations.

The system could help Cadillac develop more sophisticated self-driving autos that can adapt to urban conditions. However, this capability won’t be very useful to computerized or human drivers until a significant number of vehicles feature it. Other automakers have yet to announce specific plans to incorporate V2V technology.


Although it may take a number of years for automakers to develop cars that safely automate all driving, impressive progress toward this goal has been achieved in recent years. Bloomberg reports that certain Acura models automatically apply their brakes when the next car travels at a slower speed.

As GM’s CEO pointed out in her speech, completely automated vehicles already exist but aren’t for sale. A computer-driven Chevrolet Tahoe successfully traveled 60 miles in 2007, making its way through intersections and traffic. However, automakers still need to enhance and verify the safety of such vehicles before the public can use them.


Ford Releases more info on 2015 F-450

Straight from the horses mouth, we wanted to share this press release from Ford about the revamped F-450.


  • For customers who require no-compromise towing capability, the 2015 Ford F-450 Super Duty Class 3 pickup boasts the highest rating of any pickup truck in the United States – 31,200 pounds, measured using the Society of Automotive Engineers J2807 standard
  • F-450 Super Duty towing capability is 2,200 pounds greater than its closest competitor’s crew cab 4×4 pickup truck
  • Ford will rate 2015 F-Series Super Duty maximum payload using base curb weight, aligning its payload rating practices with other manufacturers to make it easier for customers to compare vehicles

Ford reaffirms the undisputed heavy-duty towing leadership of the 2015 Ford F-450 Super Duty Class 3 pickup at 31,200 pounds after testing using the Society of Automotive Engineers J2807 standard.

SAE J2807 establishes tow vehicle performance requirements against certain performance criteria to determine a truck’s maximum trailer tow rating. Ford is a founding member of the J2807 committee, which includes other truck and trailer manufacturers.

“We leave no doubt with customers that the F-450 pickup truck has best-in-class towing of 31,200 pounds – whether tested using our own internal towing standards or SAE J2807,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development.

2015 Ford F-450 upgrades
Ford improved the 2015 F-450 pickup by giving it a more capable version of the F-350 frame, plus a more capable suspension and 19.5-inch wheels and tires to enable its best-in-class towing.

The F-450 pickup is available exclusively as a crew cab 4×4. The truck’s J2807-certified maximum tow rating is 2,200 pounds greater than its closest competitor’s crew cab 4×4 pickup.

Best-in-class towing performance is achieved with Ford’s second-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke® V8 turbo diesel engine that has been developed to provide the segment’s top combination of power, torque and efficiency. The Power Stroke boasts best-in-class 440 horsepower across all Super Duty pickup models – from F-250 to F-450. Super Duty also offers 860 lb.-ft. of torque for the same models.

Ford is the only heavy-duty pickup truck manufacturer that designs and builds its own diesel engine and transmission combination – from concept to execution – ensuring the powertrain will work seamlessly with all chassis components and vehicle calibrations. This approach enables Ford engineers to optimize the vehicle’s performance across the entire lineup.

Ford previously determined F-450 pickup towing capacity using rigorous internal testing standards exclusively. Now it has added SAE J2807 test procedures, reaffirming the F-450 pickup rating. F-450 passed the additional tests with 31,200 pounds in tow, just as it passed Ford internal tests.

SAE J2807 requires the vehicle to be loaded with about 400 pounds more weight than Ford’s internal test (two passengers instead of one, and base curb weight instead of minimum curb weight), but the weight addition has no effect on F-450 towing capacity. Using either standard, F-450 has best-in-class towing capacity of 31,200 pounds.

As a result of the J2807 test results, Ford is also increasing the F-450 pickup’s already best-in-class gross combined weight rating from 40,000 pounds to 40,400 pounds – topping the nearest competitor by 2,500 pounds

Payload rating changes
Ford is migrating to the J2807 standard when it introduces all-new vehicles and will use base curb weight, rather than minimum curb weight, to determine payload ratings for all of its pickup trucks. The change will align Ford’s payload rating practices with other manufacturers to make it easier for customers to compare vehicles.

Using base curb weight, maximum payload for the 2015 F-450 pickup goes from 5,450 pounds to 5,300 pounds.

As always, actual payload ratings are determined for an individual vehicle in its as-built condition at the factory. Ford F-Series Super Duty customers continue to have the flexibility to add or delete equipment to meet their specific payload needs. Each truck’s unique payload rating can be found on the tire and loading label on the door frame.