2013 Cadillac XTS Throws Down the Safety Gauntlet

All-new full-size luxury sedan debuts this spring.

GM Sensor Fusion
The 2013 Cadillac XTS may very well represent a precursor to autonomous driving. Sensor fusion technologies will become available this fall with full autonomous driving expected by the end of this decade.

The 2013 Cadillac XTS will be available in front- and all-wheel-drive when it goes on sale this spring. The new model replaces both the DTS and STS, which were retired last year. This fall, several months after the XTS becomes available, a Driver Assistance Package will be introduced. GM says that this package will be the first of its kind to employ sensor fusion, technology that enables integration of a broad range of sensing and positioning technologies that can alert drivers of road hazards and help them avoid crashes.

Advanced Safety Features

Specifically, the system’s use of radar, cameras and ultrasonic sensors enables advanced safety features, including:

  • Rear Automatic Braking
  • Full-Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Intelligent Brake Assist
  • Forward Collision Alert
  • Safety Alert Seat
  • Automatic Collision Preparation
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Side Blind Zone Alert
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Adaptive Forward Lighting
  • Rear Vision Camera With Dynamic Guidelines
  • Head Up Display

Active Safety Systems

“We believe sensor fusion will enable future active safety systems to handle a greater number of inputs to provide 360 degrees of crash risk detection and enhanced driver assist features,” said Bakhtiar Litkouhi, GM Research and Development lab group manager for perception and vehicle control systems.

“A system that combines the strengths of multiple sensing technologies and expertly manages those inputs can provide advisory, warning, and control interventions to help drivers avoid collisions and save lives,” Litkouhi said.

Sensor Fusion Signals

Importantly, sensor fusion demonstrates a direction GM has been traveling for some time, at least in vehicle testing. Specifically, the automaker says that this technology represents a building block in the development of semi-autonomous and fully autonomous vehicles, which are designed to maintain lane position and adapt to traffic environments. Although it doesn’t fully integrate the technology, it could prove to be a gateway to semi and fully autonomous driving that is expected to be introduced by the end of this decade.

GM is a proven leader in autonomous driving technology too, as the automaker won the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Urban Challenge competition in 2007 with its fully autonomous Chevrolet Tahoe. That vehicle traveled approximately 60 miles in six hours in urban traffic, navigating through busy intersections and making multiple stops at stop signs and at traffic lights. GM has also been working on EN-V or electric networked-vehicle in China, collaborating with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. to develop autonomous electric vehicles that carry two people and light cargo. The EN-V uses global positioning system technology to connect autonomously while still offering manual driving capabilities.

The only drawback right now is that skyscrapers can interfere with GPS technology, as tall buildings can interrupt signals in certain urban locations. However, GPS combined with multiple sensors and linking technologies between vehicles and perhaps fixed on top of light poles on city streets, might eliminate these gaps.

Customer Choice

For customers interested in the XTS and the new technology, they’ll want to put off their purchase until this fall. When the XTS does arrive this spring, it’ll be loaded with technologies including Cadillac CUE, but its sensor fusion safety technologies wont arrive until after this five-passenger sedan makes its debut.

See AlsoSpecifications of a 2013 Cadillac XTS

Matthew Keegan
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