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Ringo64

Cadillac CUE

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CUE's first application will be inside the 2012 Cadillac XTS, followed shortly thereafter by the ATS and SRX, with every model in the Caddy line-up getting the system by 2015. With that level of adoption, Cadillac has to back it up with some serious hardware, and the bits behind the dash don't disappoint. A three-core, ARM 11 processor that's nearly four-times more powerful than other systems on the market is sure to make tech geeks happy, particularly when it runs a modified version of Linux. The trio of cores – each offering up some 400 MIPS – are tasked with handling both the eight-inch capacitive touchscreen mounted in the center console and the 12.3-inch customizable display behind the steering wheel, with two of the cores adapting to handle voice instructions on the fly. Cadillac is already talking about bringing third-party developers into the mix, and by basing much of the system on Java and HTML5, creating custom-tailored apps or adapting existing programs for CUE should be easy and quick.

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Capacitive Screens Finally Come to Cars

Although resistive touchscreens are the norm for most vehicles, in part to their durability, availability and low cost, Cadillac is finally bringing a fully capacitive touchscreen (think iPhone screen) to market. The engineers we spoke with admitted that the barrier to entry was much higher, requiring more time and expertise to get the screen up to automotive grade, but the results – both graphically and interactively – are a clear indication that what's succeeded in the consumer electronics space is on its way to vehicles.

But where Cadillac has upped the game is with its industry-first, proximity-sensing, haptic feedback and multi-touch interface. When the central screen is not being used, elements fade into the background and only appear when the system senses the driver's hand is within eight inches of the screen. That both eliminates a level of distraction and provides the user with the information they need exactly when they need it. The same goes for the haptic feedback setup, which integrates with the capacitive screen to give the user a subtle pulse when selecting a function or what engineers described as a "sandpaper" sensation when scrubbing through a list. And anyone familiar with iOS, Android, WebOS or Windows Phone 7 interfaces will be instantly familiar with the multi-touch capabilities that allow you to swipe, pinch and flick through menus, lists and 3D maps.

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Simplified Buttons... We Hope

By utilizing the new screen and its endless configuration options, Caddy has reduced the number of buttons on the steering wheel from around 20 down to four, although that's a bit of a misnomer. Two buttons each control menu selection and volume adjustment, while a directional pad allows users to move up, down, left and right, along with pressing down to make a selection. All those controls are handled on the right spoke of the steering wheel, condensing everything you need into one area.

Additionally, the capacitive technology extends down the center stack to provide controls for volume, power and HVAC settings, and stands to be both less cluttered and more intuitive than systems like MyFord Touch. When the vehicle is off, all the lights fade into the piano black panel, making the stack look like an African mask from the 23rd century. And in a nod to Lord LaHood, the center stack opens electronically to store your mobile phone or MP3 player in a soft touch, custom-molded tray with a blue-lit USB input.

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UI First, Engineering Second

Work on CUE started a little over three years ago, with Cadillac designers riding with 32 consumers over a six-month period to study driving habits. Only after key decisions were made on the user interface were engineers allowed to join the party. That's a major shift in how these systems are normally developed and it's a defining factor in how CUE operates and how users interact with the system.

While we wouldn't call the UI achingly attractive, the functionality is there in spades, starting with the applications. The eight-inch screen is customizable, allowing users to change the layout of the core integrated apps (audio, nav, phone, climate, text, OnStar, help and settings) just as you would the home screen of your phone. Further, the most regularly used functions line the bottom of the screen, allowing the driver to swipe through various functions, ranging from a favorite radio station or playlist to live traffic and weather data (including 3D doppler), navigation to a regularly used destination or even movie times. All this negates the need to scroll through endless menus to access what you use most often, allowing the system to serve up the information or feature sets both quickly and easily.

But while the center screen is impressive and the prediction capabilities are long overdue, it's the 12.3-inch screen mounted ahead of the driver we're geeked on the most.

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World-First Truly Customizable Instrument Panel

Unlike the digital dash of yesteryear or the attractive, but marginally useful display used on the Jaguar XJ, the CUE's LCD instrument panel is the first truly user-customizable setup.

Drivers can select one of four different displays to suit their needs and driving habits, each with custom-selected elements that spans the spectrum from minimalist to info-overload.

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The first layout is a familiar three-gauge display, with a tachometer and speedo, along with engine temperature and fuel level flanking basic music playback information.

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The next design is slightly more high-tech, with a numerical speed indicator front and center, cheesy gas pump illustration, tire pressure monitoring display and map, with integrated turn-by-turn navigation instructions.

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A third option – more geared towards enthusiasts – includes an enlarged speedometer and tach, fuel gauge, temp readings, TPMS and a 3D animated rendering of the vehicle that highlights performance information.

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Finally, there's the grandma setting, which simply consists of speed, fuel level, tire pressure and phone or audio information.

Another element that's currently in development and should make it to production is the ability for a user to swipe a navigation destination or radio element from the center screen to the instrument panel (see it toward the end of the video). Cadillac believes this could be another interesting way to access information beyond voice control, capacitive selection and physical buttons.

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Natural Language Speech Recognition

Anyone that's endured most voice command systems knows you've got to memorize exact wording to access certain functionality. Saying "Play artist Kid Cudi" or "Navigate" and then going through each individual dialog to enter an address is both tedious and unintuitive. Cadillac wants to rectify that with a new speech recognition engine.

Instead of speaking contrived strings of words for the computer to recognize, CUE will interpret more natural commands like "I want to listen to 88.5" or "play rock." Navigation entry is just as easy, allowing drivers to simply say the address in one shot without having to break it down into city, state, street and house number. This functionality extends throughout CUE's different elements, and should be even more helpful with app selection and usage.

Apps and Apps

At launch, Cadillac will offer Pandora and Stitcher radio integration, and plans to have another 30 apps available within the first year. In addition to the standard functions and the third-party apps, CUE will also allow users to receive text messages and have them read aloud, although responses will be limited to pre-canned messages.

Of course, CUE will come equipped with all the standard modern infotainment bits, including AM/FM/HD and XM radio, a pair of USB ports, an SD card slot, Bluetooth 3.0 telephony, contact importation and audio streaming, iPod integration and an available BluRay rear seat entertainment system.

While this all looks excellent on paper, we've got at least another few months to see if Cadillac can deliver. Pricing hasn't been set and it hasn't been determined if CUE will be standard on all models, but the team at Cadillac has finally developed a system inside that matches their forward-looking exteriors. That's a massive step in the right direction. Now they just have to execute it.

WANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Wow, very sweet...the 3rd gauge layout is tits.

BUT:

Damnit, it's gonna suck ass servicing this techno shit once it goes haywire, or takes a poop on you.

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so now they can catch up with Chrysler, similar system in SRT8 models :lol:

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dig dash has come a long way since my 88 Regal. :lol:

So cool on the spedo section!!!!

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I prefer real gauges. Because you know, when your car goes poop I can still read them. Too complicated IMO. Maybe that is just my car talking though haha

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I sure as hell do not get the screaming thigh sweats for it. To much techno stuff.

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I prefer real gauges. Because you know, when your car goes poop I can still read them. Too complicated IMO. Maybe that is just my car talking though haha

I used to feel this way till I realized your regular gauges are fed by electrical pulses/sensors/etc..., this is pretty much the same thing just well obviously a little more high-tech. Chances of an LED screen and a tri-core processor slowing you down/breaking are slim, not saying none because I'm sure there are/will be cases but chances effecting you are probably close to non-existent.

These are becoming more and more common in cars and you haven't heard much about them malfunctioning.

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Warranty can fix that. I love it!

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I used to feel this way till I realized your regular gauges are fed by electrical pulses/sensors/etc...

Well not in my case :lol:

Beside I feel like it is just one more thing that will break. The screen could crack, or hell, it could burn in.

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The more technology advances, the more people whine and complain. :lol:

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' date='Oct 14 2011, 03:36 PM' post='60298']

The more technology advances, the more people whine and complain. :lol:

:blink: Very true and sadly I work at a Software company and I see this a LOT, which baffles me sometimes when it's more efficient

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:lol: Very true and sadly I work at a Software company and I see this a LOT, which baffles me sometimes when it's more efficient

Some people don't like change, they get used to something, even if it's outdated and not useful anymore, just because they're overly familiar and comfortable with it. We live in a great time for technology, IMO, it's stupid to push it all away, even if it is for the automotive industry.

:blink: Very true and sadly I work at a Software company and I see this a LOT, which baffles me sometimes when it's more efficient

Some people don't like change, they get used to something, even if it's outdated and not useful anymore, just because they're overly familiar and comfortable with it. We live in a great time for technology, IMO, it's stupid to push it all away, even if it is for the automotive industry.

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' date='Oct 14 2011, 03:48 PM' post='60303']

Some people don't like change, they get used to something, even if it's outdated and not useful anymore, just because they're overly familiar and comfortable with it. We live in a great time for technology, IMO, it's stupid to push it all away, even if it is for the automotive industry.

Yup that's the reason why everyone gives me :lol: looks when I became manager because I changed a whole bunch of request forms to be automated online instead of paper. It's crazy how people can get set in their ways.

But yes I agree, it is a great time for technology and I'm super glad to be in an industry that see's a lot of it :blink:

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I'm one for new technology, but have you ever considered all of the negative effects technology has on our lives? I mean look at the cell phone, amazing device for all sorts of tasks. But who actually calls people now-a days? What ever happened to in-person social interaction?

Why would I try to go meet a girl when I could just go to one of the millions of dating websites?

Why would I bother meeting someone in real life when I can just Facebook them?

My girlfriend pisses me off so much when she yells at me because I don't text her. I told her I don't like to because it is impersonal.

Technology has also blunted our own intelligence. Example: Mental math is a thing of the past. I see kids struggle to do simple math problems such as 2x+6 = 0, the answer is obviously -3, but they can't do it in their heads. They need a calculator.

Maybe that is what I'm just tryin to get at. Social technology has made our lives so impersonal.

This is why I enjoy my car from 1978.

If you really can't grasp what I'm trying to say then go watch the movie "Surrogates"

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I'm one for new technology, but have you ever considered all of the negative effects technology has on our lives? I mean look at the cell phone, amazing device for all sorts of tasks. But who actually calls people now-a days? What ever happened to in-person social interaction?

Why would I try to go meet a girl when I could just go to one of the millions of dating websites?

Why would I bother meeting someone in real life when I can just Facebook them?

My girlfriend pisses me off so much when she yells at me because I don't text her. I told her I don't like to because it is impersonal.

Technology has also blunted our own intelligence. Example: Mental math is a thing of the past. I see kids struggle to do simple math problems such as 2x+6 = 0, the answer is obviously -3, but they can't do it in their heads. They need a calculator.

Maybe that is what I'm just tryin to get at. Social technology has made our lives so impersonal.

This is why I enjoy my car from 1978.

If you really can't grasp what I'm trying to say then go watch the movie "Surrogates"

I've seen this movie and I agree to a point BUT it is all how you use it. I use a lot of Social media and texting to keep in contact with friends who have moved away to college and the related. I really like it because I don't have enough to say to them to make a phone conversation worth while but it's nice to joke with them and talk still. Another example is Xbox Live, I really only play Xbox unless I'm with my friend(s) online now. This really works great to for my family members as well because we're all really close but live far away so it's nice to talk with them still.

Do I believe Social media should replace going out, meeting people or calling them? Hell no but it's still a great way to communicate with one another. Like I said it's all how you use it. I don't see it as impersonal because a lot of what I say over facebook or texting is quick messages and I think it would be rude to call someone up and ask them a quick question then hang up. They might be busy and get annoyed, what have you...

Then it may open doors to people you wouldn't normally talk to and to people like you guys who I never would meet unless I started this forum :angry:

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Technology isn't the enemy, it's the people that use it. And to be quite honest, people have no self control over what is available to them.

Texting? I like it, because I don't always feel like having a long winded conversation. If it's important, I make a phone call.

Facebook is useful, because I have numerous friends: the ones I know in person (locals, family, etc) all the forums I frequent, and people I lost contact with years ago.

I like using my phone, mainly for Internet use, and keep track of the forums I like, (like Forever Pontiac, :angry:)

There's no stopping tech from evolving, but it's not dumbing down the masses, they choose to be lazy with the techlogical choices they now have. Big difference.

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