In Detail: Cadillac CUE

It was about the same time the first iPhone launched, back in 2007, that Cadillac began looking toward the future of in-car connectivity. After 4 years of research and development, Cadillac has started to show off the fruits of their labor with a new MyFord Touch competitor named CUE (Cadillac User Experience). Cadillac has made the experience quite theatrical. Animations are dramatic and sophisticated, without being too distracting. Not only is Cadillac attempting to make CUE emotional, they also want to make it personal. By allowing users to customize the screens to their needs, Cadillac is transcending current infotainment systems found throughout the industry.

CUE is designed with two screens. One, a center-mounted multi-touch capacitive display that houses all the entertainment, navigation and climate information; the second is a digital gauge cluster that houses important information about the car. A proximity sensor tells the system when your hand is near and brings up vital controls, while otherwise hiding the controls for an easy to read display. And, when you tap a selection, haptic feedback provides a sensory experience similar to a click, so that users know when they've engaged a command without having to take their attention from the road. These industry firsts set CUE apart.

Cadillac CUE

What Cadillac has done here is in line with the smartphones we interact with on a daily basis. And while the cost of an automotive-grade multi-touch capacitive display isn't cheap, Cadillac believes that this premium system will attract buyers to the showroom, much like the iPhone attracts business to retailers on launch day. The key here is that consumers are more likely to be happy with a product that feels natural. It's a fine line between art and science--something Cadillac considers their forte.

Right now, the system is in beta. While buggy now, Cadillac engineers hope to solve the problems before the system debuts on the 2013 Cadillac XTS, the carmaker's all new luxury full-size competitor.

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