Behind the wheel with Cadillac's high-tech CUE

The system that will be available in 2013 cars mixes customizable displays with voice control

By , IDG News Service |  IT Management

"Name the P-O-I nearby or say change location."

"Grocery stores."

"Grocery stores. Correct?"

"Yes."

Perhaps the displays that will most contribute to the feel of the car, at least for the driver, are those behind the wheel and on the windshield. Both the instrument panel and heads-up display are customizable. There are four main designs of instrument panel to choose from, and they can be further customized with the addition of things like a mini-navigation map or guide to what song is being played.

"Users are starting to expect this," said Matt Highstrom, interaction designer at General Motors. "It really gives you more of an integrated solution than our past solutions. It introduces that in a very user-friendly fashion so we've implemented the capacitive touchscreen. That lets users quickly navigate through their phone lists, just like they would do on an iPad device, and customize their layouts. This customization is something that really hasn't been done in our past."

Cadillac has also outfitted the driver's seat with a vibration system that shakes the seat when the car detects a pedestrian in front or behind the car while it's in drive mode. This could be especially effective in places like car parks, where there are a lot of people walking around and cars backing up and turning.

The CUE will be available in 2013 models of some Cadillac cars.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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