General Motors’ luxury brand, is placing a great deal of emphasis on the user friendliness of its Cadillac User Experience (CUE) interface, in an effort to entice customers.
A major part of CUE’s push is to produce a system that rivals smartphones and tablets when it comes to customization such as tailoring settings to specific tastes and allowing users to create their own shortcuts. An issue with many current car-based interfaces is that consumers find them complicated and frustrating to use.
When it comes to navigation, the traditional method is to input separate data for street address, city, intersection or postal or ZIP code via buttons on the touch screen. With CUE, drivers can input the entire address on just a single screen either by touch or verbal command. In some situations, much like a smartphone or tablet, providing the system is prompted, it can actually fill out full information such as city and postal or ZIP code.
In an effort to promote user friendliness, all CUE screens feature a toolbar at the bottom with “presets” of frequently accessed driving destinations or phone numbers. Regardless of screen setting, occupants are able access these presets at all times.
Given that the concept of personalized listening experiences is becoming more and more popular, CUE has been designed so that up to 10 different media devices can be connected via Bluetooth. Because that in itself represents a huge list of music, CUE incorporates an aggregate feature in its media library, making it easier to find a specific tune. Additionally, besides customizing music settings in terms of songs, occupants can also adjust sound preferences depending on their own taste or the particular genre of music. Adjustable settings include tone, balance, base, treble and fade.
Also, with the amount of data (including personal information) being stored on modern vehicle interfaces, security is a concern for many consumers, especially if the car is stolen or gets into the hands of an irresponsible valet. Cadillac has approached the problem by developing a “Valet Mode” that blocks off access to the car’s instrument panel as well as the centre stack and storage bin.
CUE represents a big deal for Cadillac, especially as more and more advanced technology becomes integrated into automobiles and consumers look for an ever more user friendly interface in their vehicles. Currently offered in the 2013 ATS and XTS sedans, as well as the SRX crossover, it will be interesting to see not only how CUE evolves but also how well consumers respond to it over the longer term, especially in view of issues that have affected the acceptance of other interfaces, such as MyFord Touch.
CUE interaction designer Cody Hansen believes CUE will help elevate the Cadillac ownership experience. “Twenty years ago, when navigation systems began to appear in autos some thought of it as an unneeded add-on — now navigation is a must-have for many. CUE elevates the levels of personalization so the driver interacts with features they may not have realized were so essential for their in-vehicle experience.”