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It's Not Just a Car, It's a Frankel

Look, Ma! No Hands Cadillac

As 2013 approaches, Cadillac moves several steps closer to the driverless car.

The 2013 XTS Luxury Sedan is partially controlled at a touch - literally.

You begin by pressing the "Start" button to the right of the steering wheel. Your dashboard opens up, but it's no ordinary dashboard. It's a touch screen with options and four themes which you can personalize.

Car running? You move to your infotainment touch screen and discover that it uses "capacitative multitouch and haptic feedback with proximity sensors". What does this mean? It means the screen senses your hand approaching and turns on. No interaction? It turns off. It also means that when your command has been received, the screen gives you feedback via a pulse to your finger. The screen also has voice recognition capacity to allow it to respond to spoken commands. Both of these features keep you safer by allowing you to keep your eyes on the road.

Called "CUE", this infotainment system boasts capacities beyond any other infotainment system currently available. Cadillac says their CUE system supports Bluetooth and is thus able to handle audio streaming for phone calls and media browsing, test messaging, and contact lists. At any one time, you can interact with two of the 10 possible devices Cue can support. CUE also has two USB ports and one SD card slot. The HTML/JavaScript browser opens up another wide area of possibilities. With many apps already available and more to come, CUE is, in effect, your "cartop" computer.

In addition, Cadillac continues its work on "Super Cruise". Building on existing technology in the 2013 XTS and ATS luxury sedans, Super Cruise is being developed to be semi-autonomous. That is, given appropriate weather and clear lane markings, the car will drive itself. One of the keys to such a system is the vehicle's ability to center itself in the driving lane. This is achieved via forward-looking cameras coupled with GPS map data.

Some day, in the near future, you'll be able to get into your Cadillac and have it drive you to where you need to go. What a ride!

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