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The all-new Cadillac XTS will start production this spring and when it finally hits dealerships, it will be the industry’s first car to feature directional tactile sensation to warn drivers of potential crash threats.
While the “directional tactile sensation” name might sound fancy, in laymen’s terms it’s simply vibrations of the driver’s seat bottom. That’s right, if you’re in danger of crashing your new XTS luxury sedan, the seat will buzz your bum. The vibrating pulse patterns will emit from the lower bolster of the seat, and will be directional (left or right) depending on where the potential threat is emanating. If the potential crash is in the front or rear of the vehicle, the Cadillac Safety Alert Seat will kick in on both sides of the seat.
Cadillac’s announcement to use haptic feedback in the seat comes coincidentally after we reported AT&T Labs researching the use of vibrations in the steering wheel to help make in-car navigation less distracting.
“It’s akin to someone tapping on your shoulder in a crowd to get your attention,” said, General Motors active safety technical fellow Raymond Kiefer. “Using the tactile sense to communicate crash threat direction provides an effective and intuitive way to cut through the clutter of visual and auditory sensory information that drivers routinely experience.”
The vibrating seats will be part of the Cadillac Driver Awareness and Driver Assist packages and also includes Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert in the Driver Awareness Package, available in spring for the launch of the XTS. The Driver Assist Package on the other hand, will be available in fall and also uses the Safety Alert Seat and features Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Collision Preparation, and Front and Rear Automatic Braking Systems.
Both packages will also be made available to the Cadillac ATS and SRX models.
Watch a couple videos of the new 2013 Cadillac XTS safety features after the break.