Last week, I was invited to an event at the Classic Car Club to see the introduction of the new Cadillac XTS. While the Cadillac XTS looked sleeker than its predecessors, and had all the amenities that one would expect in a car of Cadillac’s pedigree, it was the technology integrated into the Cadillac that enamored me.
At the New York Auto Show, all the car manufacturers were displaying tech in order to appeal to Millennials, but I think Cadillac is the first one getting it right. The panel between the two front seats are all touch sensitive rather than actual buttons. Holding a finger on the air conditioner or other button will cause a small vibration, so the haptic feedback lets the user know that their touch has caused the desired effect and the change is made. Even a hidden area for storage, including a place to plug in an iPhone, is opened by placing a finger on a chrome affectation until a small vibration is felt and the motors slowly open or close the compartment.
The radio of the Cadillac XTS is a touch sensitive screen that is iPhone inspired. By touching the icons on the screen, the radio, navigation, and other features are easily accessed, and can be dragged around the screen into the user’s desired order or put into list of favorites at the bottom of the screen, which can include satellite radio, navigation destinations, iPod playlists, etc. One of my biggest complaints with utilizing such systems with an iPod/iPhone with a large library has even been addressed. The screen can sense not just touch but finger proximity as well, so a flick of the finger can quickly scan through a large selection and make it feasible to listen to artists like Warren Zevon and ZZ Top with out taking forever to go through the list.
The dashboard in front of the driver is a screen as well. By accessing menus, different layouts can be displayed on it for driving information. Unlike the radio, this is done through more manual controls for safety reasons, since reaching through the steering wheel to interact with the screen has the possibility of danger while driving. Information from the radio can also be displayed there, though. By touching things on the radio screen and flicking across, data can be made available, like artist information for the song the driver is listening to.
All the technology displayed by Cadillac at the event for the Cadillac XTS is a step int eh right direction to me. As drivers, we want more from our car and we want to remain connected. As car manufacturers unleash more advanced technology on their buyers, they bring it closer to the digital integration we crave. Cadillac also plans to add the Siri button to their cars in the fall, as well as other technological advancements, and I look forward to seeing what they bring to the car buying public.