The 2013 Cadillac ATS sport sedan and the 2013 XTS luxury sedan will both introduce a raft of new safety equipment. Cadillac will use its new cars to launch passive and active safety technologies, as well as special vibrating seats.
The ATS and XTS, which go on sale this year, will be available with an optional Driver Assist package and a Driver Awareness package. The included features use a combination of cameras and radar sensors to monitor the conditions around the cars; in the future, Cadillac says it might consider using laser sensors or even GPS data to help inform safety technologies.
The Driver Awareness Package includes Forward Collision Alert, which uses a front-facing camera to detect and warn the driver if they are about to rear-end another vehicle; Lane Departure Warning, which at speeds above 35 mph uses the same camera to sound an alert if the driver weaves out of the current lane without signaling; Side Blind Zone Alert, which uses radar sensors to flash a warning if the driver activates the turn signals when another vehicle is in the Cadillac's blind spot; and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, which uses radar sensors to detect whether a vehicle is approaching from the sides as the car backs out of a parking space.
In addition, the separate Driver Assist Package has full-speed Adaptive Cruise Control, which automatically slows or accelerates the car in response to traffic; Automotive Collision Preparation, which automatically applies to brakes to lessen or prevent an impending crash; and Front and Rear Automatic Braking, which works at low speeds to alert the driver if the car is approaching obstacles, and can even brake the car to prevent a low-speed collision.
On top of that, the Driver Assist Package includes a new Cadillac technology called Safety Seat. The system uses special vibrating pulses in the driver's seat to alert the driver to impending collisions or vehicles in the car's blind spot. By vibrating either the right or left side of the seat, the system can help point out problems that are only on one side of the vehicle. The idea is to provide a warning cue that won't be drowned out loud noises, as can happen with traditional beeps and chimes.
"It's akin to someone tapping on your shoulder in a crowd to get your attention," General Motors safety engineer Raymond Kiefer said in a statement.
In addition to all these technology-based safety features, Cadillac notes that the ATS and XTS will have ten standard airbags, as well as stability control and antilock brakes.The Driver Assist and Awareness packages also will be introduced on the Cadillac SRX crossover at a later date.