Cadillac Announces New Version of CUE and Swears It’s Better

Cloud-based profiles allow users to customize the infotainment system to match individual preferences and take that same customized experience with them into any new Cadillac user experience equipped vehicle.

Cadillac’s much maligned CUE infotainment system is getting a behind-the-scenes makeover. After drivers and media alike complained about slow touchscreen response times and cumbersome layouts in previous iterations, executives with the luxury brand said Tuesday that motorists will soon be able to purchase vehicles that contain more seamless systems and a range of new features that allow for more customization.

After focusing primarily on response times, Cadillac says, it then looked to make the system more intuitive to use. Chief among the on-screen improvements is a central “summary view” page, shown above, from which vehicle occupants can access climate controls, audio options, phones, and navigation features.

A new navigation app provides points of interest along selected routes, real-time traffic information, fuel prices from nearby gas stations, and predictive suggestions based on a driver’s journeys over time. That app is offered for free on a one-year trial basis, but a Cadillac spokesperson declined to say how much it will cost to maintain access to it once the trial period expires.

The next-generation Cadillac user experience is a dynamic platform that can adjust to meet customer's evolving connectivity needs, leveraging the cloud to enable personalization, available connected navigation and applications via the Collection app store.

Typically, infotainment systems are out of date as soon as cars are driven off the dealership lot. But Cadillac says CUE’s new features, as well as others that may be developed, will get over-the-air software updates and additions. Few automakers other than Tesla have delved into the realm of augmenting existing features or installing new ones with regular remote updates, but GM appears poised to join the club. Updates will arrive through the vehicle’s built-in 4G LTE OnStar connection.

CUE’s improvements also rely in part on the cloud. Beyond the promise of a system that simply performs better, Cadillac has introduced user profiles that allow motorists to save preset preferences for features like seat position, favored navigation routes, and phone contacts in a cloud-based profile they can bring from vehicle to vehicle.

With functionality that applies popular apps and smartphone practices in the vehicle, the new user experience system provides customers with easier access to the most common features. The more intuitive operation includes a Summary View in which all key applications - climate, audio, phone and navigation - are displayed on one screen.

The number of customers who regularly jump from one brand-new Cadillac to the next seems limited, but the portable profiles are a nod toward the Book by Cadillac car-sharing service that Cadillac executives unveiled last month. For $1500 per month, Book subscribers can order Cadillac vehicles via an app and have them delivered to their desired location for use over periods ranging from a single trip to weeks at a time.

The latest version of CUE will make its debut in the 2017 Cadillac CTS, which GM said will arrive in dealerships by the end of March. Cadillac plans to add the new system to the XTS and ATS sedans with the start of 2018 model year production.

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