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Cadillac Integrates Next-Generation Safety Technologies

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author photo by Nick Palermo February 2012
  • Enables radar, cameras and ultrasonic sensors to work together
  • Includes technologies like lane departure warning, collision avoidance and brake assist
  • XTS called Cadillac's "most technologically advanced production car" ever

Now as ever, automobile manufacturers devote vast resources to technology aimed at making passenger vehicles more comfortable, powerful and efficient. Certainly, the spread of innovations like direct fuel injection have done just that. But at the very cutting edge of automotive technology are systems designed to mitigate the safety risks that human drivers present. Typically found on luxury vehicles, these include blind spot and lane departure warning, brake assist and collision avoidance, all of which use sensors and processors to keep vehicle occupants safe. In the all-new 2013 XTS, Cadillac integrates these systems to work together harmoniously. This so-called sensor fusion brings vehicle autonomy, a car that drives itself, one step closer to production vehicle reality.

It sounds like the stuff of the future, but manufacturers already compete to create vehicles that can navigate real city streets and traffic in events like the DARPA Urban Challenge. DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is an agency of the US Department of Defense generally credited with inventing the internet, among other advancements. Cadillac's sensor fusion in the 2013 XTS build on technology GM developed for "The Boss," an autonomous Chevy Tahoe built with help from Carnegie Mellon University and other partners. The Boss won the 2007 Urban Challenge, navigating 60 miles of traffic, intersections and all, with no driver.

While the kind of full autonomy of The Boss remains far too expensive for a production vehicle, many sensor-based technologies have reached the mainstream, at least in the luxury segment. Typically aimed at safety, these rely on cameras, radar and ultrasonic sensors and include adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning, lane departure warning and emergency brake assist. Bakhtiar Litkouhi, GM Research and Development lab group manager for perception and vehicle control systems, says sensor fusion integrates these technologies to improve safety.

"No sensor working alone provides all the needed information. That's why multiple sensors and positioning technologies need to work together synergistically and seamlessly. Sensor fusion will help facilitate that," Litkouhi said. "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."

Cadillac says the flagship 2013 XTS, which arrives in showrooms this spring, is the company's "most technologically advanced production car" to date. With sensor fusion integrating a dozen of the large sedan's safety features, the investment in technology may pay off in lives saved.

What it means to you: Arriving in Cadillac showrooms this spring, the all-new 2013 XTS uses sensor fusion to seamlessly integrate high-tech safety systems.

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Cadillac Integrates Next-Generation Safety Technologies - Autotrader