We heard about this last month, and now Cadillac has confirmed it: Cadillac will release an iPad application that previews the Cadillac User Experience and provides video tutorials of how to use the new system. But Cadillac will go one step further and give all 2013 XTS buyers an iPad -- with the app installed, of course -- when they buy the luxury sedan.
Even for GM, which recently debuted its Chevrolet MyLink/Buick and GMC IntelliLink systems, CUE is a departure from the norm. It uses a set of touch-panel buttons, proximity sensors, LCD screens, capacitive touch-screens, and steering wheel buttons to bring together information and entertainment. CUE's party piece is its proximity-based information screens: the navigation system, for instance, shows a simple map with arrows when the driver's hands are on the wheel but shows the full menu with options as the driver's hand nears the screen. The gauge cluster has also been replaced with a full LCD screen, which can be configured to show vehicle information, speed, and infotainment readouts and settings.
While the system doesn't look appear it to have a super-steep learning curve, Cadillac promises that it will allow SRX, XTS, and ATS owners to train themselves for CUE by downloading an application to their iPads and practicing their multi-finger gestures and actions from their own devices.
In the wake of Ford having many of its products' initial quality scores dinged for issues with MyFord Touch, Cadillac is working in hopes that the ATS and XTS won't follow. Its OnStar operators will direct CUE-confused drivers to a network of at least 25 Connected Customer Experts, who are specifically trained on how to use and customize the system. Each Cadillac dealership will also have a designated CUE expert on-staff.
Will all of these fail-safes protect Cadillac from a technology headache-induced backlash from owners? Only time will tell.