CUE: The Cadillac XTS' new Apple-like infotainment system

General Motors hasn't historically been what you'd call an automotive infotainment innovator. That is, until now. This video, the first public glimpse of the interior of the new Cadillac XTS luxo-barge, lifts the veil off GM's luxury brand's new gorgeous Apple-like future.

Four years ago, when Ford introduced it's Microsoft-powered Sync system, GM looked like an also-ran analog anachronism in a digital world, happy to continue to build their infotainment system in-house. Where was the partnership with Microsoft? With Google? With anyone? I mean, they were just barely getting USB ports fercrissakes. Even recently, their new "MyLink" system looked like a Sync also-ran.


But today we're seeing their latest user interface — set to see the showroom floor next year in the Cadillac XTS, the replacement for the just-expired STS and DTS sedans, of which we're seeing the interior of today for the first time — and we're not just impressed, we're floored. It's called the Cadillac User Experience, or CUE, — and it doesn't just take a step forward, it looks like it might leap-frog the entire luxury infotainment marketplace.

The main interface area for CUE is an 8-inch LCD touch screen, seamlessly — and gorgeously — integrated into the top of the central instrument panel above a motorized fully capacitive faceplate that looks eerily similar to the Vertu Signature cell phone.

Illustration for article titled CUE: The Cadillac XTS new Apple-like infotainment system

We're told that the screen uses proximity sensing, so as your hand approaches the LCD screen, command icons appear as if by magic — icons can be customized and arranged any way you see fit — all by iOS-like drag-and-drop.

Not only is the screen able to sense your hand, but your hand will sense the screen. The buttons on the fully capacitive faceplate pulse when pressed. Yes, that's right — haptic feedback, baby.


The screen's also multi-touch hand gesture-enabled — just like an iPhone or iPad.

But that's not the only screen — there's also a 12.3-inch LCD reconfigurable gauge cluster — just like the one found on the Chevy Volt, only infinitely cooler and darker-looking.


The entire system runs on an ARM 11 3-core processor — offering, as GM says, "3.5 times more processing power than current infotainment systems."

But that's just the hardware. The software is run on a Linux engine and an HTML 5 browser, allowing developers to write applications to CUE that can be downloaded by consumers.

Illustration for article titled CUE: The Cadillac XTS new Apple-like infotainment system

Which is where the real issue lies — because although I think this may be the coolest-looking infotainment system I've ever seen, I only like it up to the point that I die trying to get the Pandora folk station to stop playing fucking John Mayer.


There's also the usual gimmicky stuff nobody'll use — like voice recognition and text messages can be read to you while you drive automated responses are provided or you can create your own customized responses.

But the core of this system — at least in this teaser video — looks pretty amazing. And so does the rest of the interior of the Cadillac XTS.


We're told to expect the XTS sedan, modeled off of the XTS Platinum Concept, first shown at last year's Detroit Auto Show, to be introduced in the Spring of next year. So yes folks, this isn't the infotainment system of the future, it's the infotainment system of today.

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"Calibration mode. A top ten song from each decade will play. Please react appropriately."


Preference for 'Benny Goodman" saved.

Adjusting displays to 244-point text with +10MPH calibration.

Adjusting mirrors to stellar observation angle.

Lowering seat to forehead-to-steering-wheel height.

Activating left blinker.