DETROIT – Like many of today’s smart phones and tablets, a deep dive into Cadillac’s CUE in-vehicle user experience reveals customized conveniences and advanced features that enable user-created shortcuts to their favorite infotainment features.
From accurately guessing an intended destination to aggregating music playlists, CUE’s customizable approach to working a vehicle’s traditional audio and navigation features allow settings to be tailored to specific tastes.
Navigation shortcuts and information security
Most navigation systems prompt users to insert destination information by separately inputting state, city, street, and house number information. CUE users can manually or verbally input the entire destination address on one screen, saving time and keeping drivers focused on the road. In some cases, CUE will take a hint from partial information and automatically fill in city and state information.
CUE also offers “presets” of frequently visited destinations similar to radio station presets, CUE will support access of destinations and phone numbers without having to separately launch the vehicle’s navigation system or phone book. These presets live along the bottom row of all CUE screens, allowing for instant access regardless of application the user is in.
To offset security concerns, engineers equipped CUE with a “Valet Mode,” which blocks access to all center stack and instrument panel functions, as well as the storage bin behind the center stack.
“Drivers had reservations about their personal information, such as addresses or stored phone numbers, being accessed by a valet attendant, for example, or in case of theft,” said Cody Hansen, CUE interaction designer. “With ‘Valet Mode’ users can enter a four-digit pin and lock access to the center stack, steering wheel controls, and the storage cubby behind the center stack.”
Advanced media access and audio settings
CUE offers some of the industry’s most advanced audio features and connectivity options. Up to 10 different media devices could be paired at one time via Bluetooth. To help manage all those playlists, CUE’s media library aggregates all the playlists to make finding specific songs easier.
Integration of CUE’s main functions into the steering controls and a separate screen in the instrument cluster allows access to radio and navigation functions at the same time – – the equivalent of multitasking on two separate computer monitors at home or office.
Beyond playlists, users can fully customize and save radio tone settings for a personalized music listening experience. Most vehicles come with predetermined sound settings for certain music genres such as rock, jazz and talk. CUE allows users to save their own settings by adjusting the bass, treble, balance and fade to desired levels. Creation and naming of custom genres such as “Baby Mode,” where the fade and bass are turned down so as not to wake a sleeping child in the backseat.
“Twenty years ago when navigation systems began to appear in autos some thought of it as an unneeded add-on,” said Hansen. “Now navigation is a must-have for many. CUE elevates the levels of personalization so the driver interacts with features they may not have realized were so essential for their in-vehicle experience.”
Many auto industry-first features, such as an eight-inch capacitive touch screen display and proximity sensing, are CUE highlights. The system is available on the 2013 Cadillac ATS sports sedan, SRX luxury crossover and XTS luxury sedan.