Cadillac says it made CUE infotainment a lot better

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We've never been huge fans of CUE, the Cadillac User Experience infotainment interface. It's been around a few years now, and the best thing we can say for it is that it now supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, making it easy enough to replace most of the interface with a familiar smartphone-based system. Now Cadillac has made some big upgrades to the system that should address at least some of our concerns.

First and foremost, the system is claimed to be more intuitive, with a more logical interface design. Cadillac has added a Summary View that gives an overview of the climate, media, navigation, and phone all at the same time. The system will also be able to receive over-the-air updates, allowing Cadillac to make improvements more often and push them out to owners' cars, mush like Tesla and other automakers already do.

The 4G LTE connection will also be used to connect the car with the cloud, where drivers can store and modify their own personalized set of settings. This My Driver Preferences profile will include things like contacts, navigation preferences, and recent destinations, and will also follow them from one car equipped with the system to another. That should come in handy for anyone subscribing to the $1,500-a-month Book by Cadillac vehicle subscription service, which allows participants to swap between cars when they choose.

The cloud connection will also carry over to a new available navigation function, which Cadillac claims has a more intuitive, smartphone-like interface. It uses its data connection to provide current destination info and is supposed to learn a driver's habits, such as their preferred routes and frequent destinations, which the system will then attempt to offer up predictively – so the car should be able to know that you're heading home at 5:00. Additional apps for the system will be available through Cadillac's new Collection app store. And it's still compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

One sore spot that appears to have been improved is the digital gauge package, although Cadillac hasn't offered details on that extension of the system. The current iteration's ability to over-customize the interface (our personal favorite is the option to display a total of four speedometers between the head-up display and the gauge screen; see video below) and unintuitive controls make it difficult to use and learn, while the simulated gauges don't look particularly realistic. The design appears to have been simplified based on the interior image Cadillac released, with less on-screen text and separation, and the tachometer being displayed seems more life-like.

The improved Cadillac user interface (which is no longer being referred to by the company as CUE) will first appear in the 2017 CTS sedan as part of a mid-year enhancement. It will later move to the ATS and XTS, with the brand's other models following in subsequent model years.

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