I remember when Vice President of Cadillac Marketing, Don Butler, showed me the Cadillac Cue system last year in San Diego. A pair of capacitive touchscreen LCDs dictated everything from driving information to reading and sending text messages while on the road. It was apparent that Cadillac wanted to remain at the center of the collision of technology and automobiles, but the company’s most recent ventures have taken things to new heights.
Cadillac is dabbling in autonomous vehicle operation. To clarify, GM’s swanky subdivision is working on a system that provides a 360-degree view around the vehicle via GPS, radar and cameras. Traces of this already exist in the 2013 Cadillac XTS and ATS models, including Adaptive Cruise Control and front and rear automatic brakes. The demonstration highlighted in the video shows a driver cruising down a lane with no hands on the wheel. The car then comes to a complete stop after it detects another vehicle in front of it, all while the driver sits there twiddling his thumbs.
But as Mr. Butler says, these technologies are precursors to the kinds of systems Cadillac plans on developing down the road. Butler also goes on to say that the technology is meant to enhance the driving experience rather than take control away from the driver. How many drivers will take advantage of adaptive cruise control by texting, playing games and reading eBooks while screaming down the Jersey Turnpike? My guess is a lot.
Check out the video for more on Cadillac’s quest for automobile autonomy.