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We tried Tesla's, Cadillac's, and Mercedes' semi-autonomous driving systems — and the winner is clear

Look, no hands.
Look, no hands. Matthew DeBord/BI
  • We've tried Tesla Autopilot, Cadillac Super Cruise, and Mercedes Drive Pilot.
  • Each has its own pros and cons.
  • Super Cruise is, in our view, worth the extra cost.

These are early days for self-driving cars. True, we've seen some efforts at near full-autonomy in some experimental cases. Waymo has been at it for years, Uber rolled out its own system in Pittsburgh in 2016, and more recently General Motors' Cruise division showcased its technology for the media, with plans to commercialize a ride-hailing service.

The emphasis here is experimental as these systems don't play much of a role in everyday consumers' lives. In fact, fully autonomous technology might never find its way into vehicles intended individual ownership.

At the moment, however, what we all knew as cruise control has advanced far beyond its origins. Automakers have developed much more advanced systems that, under certain circumstances, can enable something that resembles a car driving itself.

But over the past year, we've sampled some of these systems. Three that stood out are from Tesla, Cadillac, and Mercedes.

Here's the rundown:

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