Bloomberg News

GM’s Cadillac Seeks Technology Lead With IPad-Style Data System

October 12, 2011

Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Co.’s Cadillac plans to offer an in-car data, navigation and media system next year with a tablet computer-style touch screen and applications that the company hopes will distinguish the brand from luxury rivals.

The first car to get the Cadillac User Experience, or CUE, system will be the XTS sedan due in early 2012, followed by the ATS small car and SRX wagon, said Don Butler, Cadillac’s vice president of marketing, in an interview yesterday in San Diego. The Linux-based CUE technology was developed in-house at GM’s research center in Warren, Michigan, he said.

“This is a differentiator moving us above and beyond our competitors,” said Micky Bly, GM’s executive director of global electric systems and infotainment, in an interview in San Diego. “IPhone, iPads, Droids, all those things are out there now, and people are familiar with that style of device navigation.”

Along with exterior styling, fuel-efficiency and engine advances, automakers are competing for buyers with sophisticated in-car electronics that provide more than route guidance, real- time traffic information and hands-free phone calls. CUE will offer a broad range of data and applications, including Pandora Media Inc.’s music service, and will be easiest to use, Detroit- based GM said.

Auto industry firsts for CUE include an 8-inch LCD screen that senses an approaching hand and is navigated by swiping through a menu similar to Apple Inc.’s iPad. It also uses “haptic” controls, both on-screen and on the center console, that pulse when tapped or swiped. CUE will be standard on the XTS and an option on other Cadillac models, Burton said, without detailing its price.

Customized Display

Traditional dashboard gauges also are replaced with an LCD screen that can be customized to show directions, information on music being played, tire pressure and other real-time vehicle data, along with speed, distance and remaining fuel.

The system also can be controlled by voice commands and will read text messages sent to motorists’ mobile phones, in hopes of keeping people from holding phones while driving, Bly said.

“It provides seamless integration of smartphone functions,” Bly said. “Bring your phone into the car environment, but take your hands off of it.”

--Editors: Stephen West, Donna Alvarado

To contact the reporter on this story: Alan Ohnsman in Los Angeles at aohnsman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jamie Butters at jbutters@bloomberg.net


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