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General Motors, the largest U.S. automaker, will introduce a Cadillac model in two years that can be driven on the highway without the driver holding the steering wheel or putting a foot on a pedal.

The 2017 Cadillac model will feature “Super Cruise” technology that takes control of steering, acceleration and braking at highway speeds of 70 miles per hour or in stop-and-go congested traffic, Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra said yesterday in a speech at the Intelligent Transport System World Congress in Detroit. GM declined to release the name of the model that will carry the feature.

Barra also said GM in two years will become the first automaker to equip a model with so-called vehicle-to-vehicle technology that enables the car to communicate with other autos with similar abilities to warn of traffic hazards and improve road safety. GM will make the V2V feature standard on its 2017 Cadillac CTS sedan, debuting in the second half of 2016, she said. The Super Cruise feature will be on a different Cadillac model and goes beyond similar technology available on some Mercedes-Benz models that operates only at low speeds.

“With Super Cruise, when there’s a congestion alert on roads like California’s Santa Monica Freeway, you can let the car take over and drive hands free and feet free through the worst stop-and-go traffic around,” Barra said in the speech at Cobo Center in Detroit. “If the mood strikes you on the high-speed road from Barstow, California, to Las Vegas, you can take a break from the wheel and pedals and let the car do the work. Having it done for you – that’s true luxury.”

The technology will be included in “an all-new Cadillac that’s going to enter a segment where we don’t compete today,” Barra said.

Automakers around the globe are racing to develop self- driving cars to solve the growing problem of global gridlock and help reduce traffic fatalities. There are now more than 1.1 billion vehicles on the road worldwide, Jon Lauckner, GM’s chief technology officer, told reporters in Detroit yesterday. A recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study estimated the economic and societal impact of car crashes in the U.S. is more than $870 billion a year, GM said in a statement.

GM’s Super Cruise technology is not a self-driving car and the feature will require drivers to remain alert and ready to take the wheel if traffic conditions become too complex, Lauckner told reporters at a briefing before Barra’s speech.

“We’re rolling out active safety technology today. We’re not going to wait until we have a driverless vehicle that can work in 100 percent of situations,” Lauckner said. “There’s a lot that can be done before we get to the perfect driverless technology.”

Automakers including Hyundai and Honda’s Acura luxury line offer such safety features as automatic braking and cruise control that adapts to the speed of cars ahead. GM said in a statement that its “hands-off” system is a “new type of driving experience.”

GM said it’s also joining with Ford, the University of Michigan and the Michigan Department of Transportation to create 120 miles of so-called intelligent highways around Detroit. The roads will be equipped with sensors and cameras that enable roads to communicate with cars to alert drivers to hazards and congestion. The technology, to be deployed along stretches of Detroit’s busiest freeways, will monitor vehicle speed and position, though that information will be anonymous and police won’t use it to ticket drivers, Lauckner said.

The Michigan Department of Transportation said it “will be the largest deployment of connected vehicle and highway technology in the world.” MDOT didn’t say when the intelligent highway technology will be deployed. Detroit-based GM won’t be paying for the highway technology, Lauckner said.

GM is working with NHTSA, the federal highway safety regulators, to develop vehicle-to-vehicle communication protocols. NHTSA also is the agency that has overseen GM’s record 29 million vehicle recalls this year, including one for faulty ignition switches in small cars that have been linked to at least 13 deaths.

Vehicle-to-vehicle communication enables cars to warn each other of autos hitting the brakes ahead, road hazards, traffic jams and closed roads, GM said. The goal is to make traffic move more smoothly and safely, Barra said.

Barra called on other automakers to put cars on the road that can talk to each other.

“I am asking all of you to accelerate your work in the field as well,” Barra said. “Let’s strive to build cars and trucks that don’t crash. Let’s connect our vehicles.”

Unless another automaker fields a car with V2V technology before GM in two years, the 2017 Cadillac CTS will only be able to communicate with other like models on the road, GM said.

“It’s a chicken-and-egg technology,” John Capp, GM’s director of global safety strategies and vehicle programs, told reporters at the briefing. “If nobody in two years from now puts out a V2V car, then the first CTS off the line will have to wait for the next CTS to talk to.”

Bulletin Board: Sirichanvimol wins Classic match of the night

The Beacon Clay Court Classic men’s singles tennis tournament finally got underway Tuesday after being pushed back due to rain.

Chat Sirichanvimol won the evening’s best match, rallying from a set down to beat Andrew Varnon, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.

• In the other matches, Anthony Holley bested Joe White, 6-4, 6-2, Chris Deszynski defeated Brian Campbell, 6-4, 6-0, Gary Gronokowski got past Field Maloney, 6-2, 6-2, and Henry Hardy downed Jeff Palmer, 6-0, 6-2.

In today’s quarterfinals at 5:30, Sirichanvimol will face Tim Prevost, Hardy takes on Steve Pedigree, Gronokowski goes up against Mike Byrne, and Deszynski matches up with Holley.


Suburban 12U

West Springfield outlasted Frontier, 6-5, in a Suburban Softball League 12-and-under game Tuesday night at Zabek Field in South Deerfield.

Olivia Deane went 2-for-2 with two RBIs, Charlotte Doulette singled and knocked in two runs, and Grace Wesoloski chipped in a single and an RBI. She also struck out 10 in the circle.

Frontier hosts Southampton Friday at 6 p.m.

Greenfield Co-Rec

Markie Pease went 3-for-3 with a home run to lead Brad’s Place to an 8-7 win over Hot-L Warren in a Greenfield Co-Rec Softball League game Tuesday night at Green River Park.

Tom Devine added two hits, including a triple, for Brad’s.

Greg Chaisson went 4-for-4 with two doubles and a triple, and Hilary Snow singled and doubled for Hot-L.

• Elsewhere, Mark Kosloski was 5-for-5 as Turners Falls Pizza House beat Wilkinson Innovative, 21-2, in five innings.

Molly MacMunn added four hits and Justin Nash belted two homers for TF Pizza.

Jeff Lapointe went 2-for-3 for Wilkinson.

• Finally, Chris Greene, Danielle Marie and Vinny Arce all went 3-for-4 as Keewanee All-Stars downed The Red Door, 17-2, in five innings at Hillside Park.

PV Women’s League

Nelly Denehy went 4-for-4 with a grand slam home run and six RBIs to power Conway to a 24-3 victory over Goshen in a Pioneer Valley Women’s Softball League contest Tuesday night in Conway.

Kendra Ouimette went 5-for-5 with four RBI, and Kristen Ouellette finished 4-for-4 with two doubles and one RBI for Conway.

Gigi LaRoche led Goshen with a single and double.

• Elsewhere, Heather Davis and Dee Calvert were both 4-for-5 with a double and one RBI as Ashfield bested Shelburne Falls, 20-9, at Mohawk Trail Regional High School in Buckland.

Stephani Smith also had four hits and knocked in a run, and B.J. Tatro was 3-for-5 with a double and three RBIs for Ashfield.

Jess Wilson led Shelburne Falls by going 3-for-3. Jenny Dawson went 3-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs, Candy Bird was 3-for-4 with two RBIs, and Teagan Valeski doubled, tripled and drove in a run.


Edge Hill Men’s League

Jake Willis earned best point quota in the A Division with a plus-5 in the Edge Hill Men’s Golf League on Tuesday in Ashfield.

Dave Cote carded a 37 for low gross, and Paul Champigny finished with a low net of 31.

Phil Sherburne was closest to the pin on No. 6 (8 feet, 10 inches).

• In the B Division, Jeff Carantit and Skip Heddens tied for top point quota at plus-61/ 2. Carantit posted a 43 for low gross, while low net went to Jon Sonntag with a 32.

Matt’s Men’s League

George Handschuh posted the low gross score of 37 in the Matt’s Men’s Golf League on Tuesday at Thomas Memorial Golf & Country Club in Turners Falls.

Andy Wyngowski had a 32 for low net.

Greg Betsold was closest to the pin on No. 7 (6-1) and Jeff Miller was closest on No. 9 (6-9).

Rick Kimball and Russ Kimball lead the league with 23 points, while Handschuh and Jon Snow are in second with 20 points.

CCG 18-Hole League

The Country club of Greenfield 18-Hole Golf Division held a Stableford Points Net tournament on Tuesday morning.

Kathie Fahey won the First Division with 40 points, while Teresa Varner and Phyllis Canon tied for second with 38 points.

In the Second Division, Anne Lyman claimed the top spot with 39 points, followed by Dianne Wood with 36 points.

Field Hockey

Union 38 Summer Clinic

Missy Mahar, Frontier Regional School’s field hockey coach, is sponsoring an introductory program for girls in grades 3 through 6 from the towns of Deerfield, Whately, Sunderland and Conway.

The clinic will take place Aug. 6 and 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Memorial Field behind Deerfield Town Hall off Conway St. in South Deerfield.

Field hockey sticks, balls and shin guards will be provided to the first 35 girls who register, though an equipment deposit is required. Girls should bring a mouthguard and a water bottle each night. Registration is $5, and the equipment deposit is $50. Make checks payable to the Town of Deerfield.

To register, call the Deerfield Recreation Office at 665-1400 Ext. 107, or email to suea@town.deerfield.ma.us. Forms can be found on-line at www.deerfieldma.us.

Equipment pick-up will be Aug. 6 at Memorial Field.


Officials course

The Connecticut Valley Soccer Officials Association will conduct an instructional course for interested candidates during August.

Members of the CVSOA officiate scholastic soccer matches in Franklin and Hampshire counties during the fall. Members must be 18 years of age or older.

For more information, contact Artie Burke at 863-2452 or aeburke11@verizon.net.

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