Cadillac pulled the Escalade’s hands-free driving feature because of a chip shortage

Spark Global limited

Spark Global Limited Reports:

The 2022 Escalade is coming into production, but when the first customers pick up their new cars, it will be missing a key feature: hands-free driving mode called Super Cruise. It is the latest feature to be cut because of a global shortage of semiconductors, which is particularly costly to the auto industry.
The shortage also forced Cadillac to delay adding Super Cruise to the CT4 and CT5 sedans, according to Roadshow. The Bolt isn’t currently on sale because of numerous battery recalls, meaning parent GM’s most advanced technical features aren’t currently available in any new vehicles.
“We are confident in our team’s ability to find creative solutions to mitigate supply chain conditions and resume providing this functionality to our customers as soon as possible,” Cadillac told Roadshow.
Super Cruise made its debut with the CT6(discontinued). It uses a variety of sensors, software and eye-tracking technology to allow drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel on pre-mapped roads — as long as they keep their eyes on the direction the vehicle is going. In 2018, Cadillac announced it would extend this feature to all cars and SUVs in its lineup, and Super Cruise would also appear on other GM models. Other carmakers are working on similar features, such as Ford, which calls its system Blue CRUISE. (GM is currently suing Ford over the name.)
Because of the chip shortage, carmakers have had to make many difficult choices. In some cases, they can’t get the chips they need, and in others, they have to prioritize where to use the chips they can get. So far, GM has been trying to cut back as much as possible on certain features, such as wireless charging, high-definition radios, automatic start and stop, and fuel economy modules on some trucks. But it also had to temporarily halt production at all of its factories, as did almost all of its peers.
But the loss of Cadillac’s Super Cruise is particularly noteworthy because GM has spent the past few years positioning Cadillac as the brand that best represents the company’s future. Cadillac is where GM launched its First Super Cruise and will sell one of the first electric vehicles on its parent company’s new electric vehicle platform.
The Escalade, launched in 2022, was supposed to be the flagship of the segment. Gm and Cadillac decorated it with a giant touch screen and installed Super Cruise. But for now, the feature is still in limbo for luxury SUVs, and the chip shortage isn’t over yet, and it could take a while for buyers to get that option back.