Oddly enough, one of the most exciting announcements at CTIA Enterprise & Applications 2011 this week in San Diego was not about a new tablet or smartphone technology, instead it was Cadillac’s unveiling of their CUE technology. We see Cadillac’s CUE (Cadillac User Experience Technology) announcement at CTIA this week as just the beginning of a shift in the car industry. For nearly a hundred years, the technology inside of cars has steadily evolved with the times, but the CUE system indicates the coming of a new era for the in-car experience.
Cadillac’s CUE system completely rethinks the in-car user experience by making it more seamless, and quite frankly, more tablet and smartphone like. Unfortunately, the reality is, that even some of the most luxurious cars on the market today can have terribly unsophisticated and very non-user friendly systems running inside. CUE changes all that by bringing together an icon-driven, touch-based user interface with built-in natural voice recognition, that is able to seamlessly control your media, phone, and navigation systems without wanting to bang your head against the dashboard in frustration. The result is a safer and much more intuitive experience for Cadillac drivers.
Quite honestly, we were kind of surprised to see such a breakthrough technology coming from Cadillac. But after sitting down with Don Butler, Cadillac, ‘s VP, and some of Cadillac’s team at CTIA, we learned that the company actually has a long standing reputation for bringing cutting edge technology to cars. Back in 1995, they were the first car brand to bring OnStar into their vehicles. Their cars also had the first ever integrated modems. Can the CUE system transform the perception of the Cadillac brand into a car that all the hipster geeks will want? It certainly has the potential to do just that. Before seeing CUE, I would have never imagined myself as a Cadillac driver. But after playing around with CUE, all the other in-car user interfaces seem dated.
That said, we have to give credit to FORD, since their SYNC system was really the first major shift in the automobile industry for bringing a more seamless app-driven experience into your vehicle. But the Cadillac CUE system, if it ends up being as good as the demo looks, is set to take things to the next level. This is good news for consumers, because it means that the competition is going to have to start rethinking their in-car user interfaces to stay competitive.
Please note, that in accordance to the FTC Guidelines and WOMMA Code of Ethics, I am disclosing that Cadillac has covered my travel, accommodations and costs related to our visit to CTIA Enterprise & Applications 2011.