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Caddy XTS Lets You Drive by the Seat of Your Pants

Safety Alert Seat warns of pending problems.

by on Mar.28, 2012

Cadillac's latest safety technologies include graphics on the gauge cluster that indicate when an object has been detected in the path of the vehicle.

It’s something a good race car driver is expected to do, using the subtle cues a car gives while racing around the track to push to the limits.  But now, even an average driver will be able to drive by the seat of their pants in Cadillac’s new flagship luxury sedan.

The General Motors luxury division is introducing a suite of new safety features for the new 2013 Cadillac XTS luxury sedan, which is slated to go into production this spring, including an industry first using the driver’s seat to alert a motorist to threats while driving or parking.

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The patented Cadillac Safety Alert Seat generates vibrating pulse patterns in the lower bolster to alert the driver to potential dangers, such as drifting from a traffic lane or toward nearby objects while parking.  Threats from the front and rear trigger pulses on both sides of the seat, while the seat, while the seat can vibrate on the left or right to signal the direction of a problem, GM engineers said as they demonstrated the new equipment at the General Motors Proving Grounds in Milford, Michigan.

“It’s akin to someone tapping on your shoulder in a crowd to get your attention,” said GM Active Safety Technical Fellow Raymond Kiefer. “Using the tactile sense to communicate crash threat direction provides an effective and intuitive way to cut through the clutter of visual and auditory sensory information that drivers routinely experience.”