The 2013 Cadillac XTS, which will hit dealerships in a few weeks, is a hotbed of new technology and features for GM. The car is the launch vessel for everything from the CUE infotainment system to vibrating alert seats
. This week, Cadillac has detailed a smaller but perhaps equally useful feature.
While much work is being done to bring autonomous vehicles
to the roads, the closest most of us have yet got is cruise control, which has actually been around since the 1950s, appearing as “Auto-Pilot” in 1958 Chryslers and Imperials. Now Cadillac is looking to update things with road testing currently underway on a semi-autonomous technology dubbed “Super Cruise” that offers fully automatic steering, braking and lane-centering in highway driving – under certain conditions.
As GM's marquee brand, Cadillac is the launch vessel for the automaker's technological advancements. The newest Cadillac technology that GM has announced is a vibrating driver's seat that provides tactile feedback to help keep drivers safer. While the vibrating recliner you have at home is designed to keep you comfortable and relaxed, in contrast GM is using a vibrating seat to keep you alert. The Cadillac Safety Alert Seat comes equipped with dual vibration zones that are connected to the car's sensor-based safety systems.
With the 82nd Geneva Motor Show
just weeks away, the world's automakers are gearing up to display their wares. As usual, many companies have already teased us with previews of what they'll have on display, including new small cars from the likes of Peugeot
, plus concepts from Rinspeed
. With the number of teasers multiplying by the minute, it's time for a quick round up of some of the other notable vehicles headed for the floor of the Geneva Palexpo convention center.
A few years ago the very existence of parent company General Motors was hanging in the balance but the Cadillac brand has made a spectacular comeback with an edgy design vocabulary in the CTS line and a seriously powerful headline-grabbing variant in the CTS-V coupe. The house style is sufficiently distinctive and the handling sufficiently sorted (we'll ignore the soon-to-be-killed-off Escalade) that the CTS is attracting buyers in Europe, something notoriously difficult for US car brands. Cadillac is feeling confident and that confidence was evident at Monterey last week where it unveiled a concept convertible that showcases a design direction for the future and its desire to move further upmarket, which of course, is exactly where Cadillac should be.
The Cadillac Converj
luxury coupe, which made such a splash back in 2009 with its extended-range EV technology, is destined for production and will be named the Cadillac ELR. Not many details of the new ELR are available other than that it will feature an electric propulsion system made up of a T-shaped lithium ion battery, an electric drive unit, and a four-cylinder engine-generator.
It's understandable that U.S. auto makers are nervous about the prospect of having to sell luxury cars that are diminutive in size, as public perception has not yet caught up with the reality of urban congestion and the energy crisis. It's even more of a problem when your name is Cadillac, a brand that is synonymous with acres of bonnet, aircraft-sized motors and enough interior room for an entourage. So it's not surprising that Cadillac's Urban Luxury Concept is a technological tour de force, with every creature comfort imaginable, or that the press release reads like an apology.
A few days ago, I managed to get up close and personal in Shanghai
with one of the most interesting concept cars the world has yet seen. SAIC's Yez concept car is the first automobile, concept or otherwise, that's ever been conceived to have a negative carbon footprint. That is, it removes more pollution than it creates.
BMW is extending its range of security vehicles with the new BMW X5 Security Plus, a car that will keep you safe as long as your assailants have nothing more than AK 47 weaponry, and it could just be one of those luxury extras to come into vogue in troubled times. At least occupants will be shielded from unintentional bullets if they stumble across a gun battle and if someone pops up beside your driver's side window with a handgun intent on carjacking you, you can now safely pull faces and show them the bird, providing of course, you've locked the door. Personally, if you're in grave danger and must travel regardless, may we recommend the late Saddam Hussein's favorite wheels, the Rhino Runner
. For more on the BMW X5 Security Plus ...