2013 Cadillac XTS to receive sensor fusion driver assistance package

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 13, 2012

Luxury brand Cadillac is getting nearer to its vision of self-driving vehicles with an advanced active safety and driver assistance system that it is introducing on the all-new 2013 Cadillac XTS. This is easily the most technologically advanced production car that Cadillac has ever offered. The available Driver Assistance Package will arrive to the XTS this fall.

It will use sensor fusion – the first General Motors system of its kind to do so. Sensor fusion allows for the integration of a wide range of sensing and positioning technologies that can alarm drivers of road hazards and help them prevent crashes.

It is considered a building block to develop semi-autonomous and fully autonomous vehicles, which are created to sustain lane position and get used to to traffic environments. GM hopes that the more advanced self-driving technology, which could enable semi and fully autonomous driving, will be offered by the end of the decade. In developing sensor fusion, GM is drawing on its experience with The Boss, a fully autonomous Chevrolet Tahoe that was developed by GM, Carnegie Mellon University and other partner companies. Its name is derived from GM R&D founder Charles F. “Boss” Kettering.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Urban Challenge competition in 2007 was won by The Boss, which navigated through 60 miles of urban traffic, busy intersections and stop signs in shorter than six hours. Another factor that has led to the progression of sensor fusion development is GM’s work on the EN-V, three semi-autonomous electric concept vehicles shown at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

EN-V can be driven both manually and autonomously as it had combined GPS with vehicle-to-vehicle communications, distance-sensing and object detection technologies. Driving it autonomously means that it automatically chooses the quickest route based on real-time traffic information.

Cadillac unveiled the newest addition to its luxury sedan lineup: the 2013 XTS. Dubbed as the most technologically advanced production vehicle in Cadillac’s history, this new car will arrive in showrooms in the U.S. and Canada in the spring of 2012.

The 2013 Cadillac XTS is larger than the CTS and offers the signature Cadillac space, dramatic presence, and elegance, but with technically advanced methods that are specifically designed for the new generation of luxury car owners. It also marks the CUE’s debut. CUE, which stands for Cadillac User Experience, is a comprehensive in-vehicle experience merging intuitive design with automotive industry-first media and information controls and commands.

Aside from Cadillac CUE user interface plus connectivity, there are many other advanced technologies that are essential to the new Cadillac XTS. It will be the sole luxury sedan equipped with the fastest-reacting suspension, the Magnetic Ride Control. Also available are advanced technologies that can enhance vision and safety.

Moreover, the XTS boasts a 3.6-liter direct injection engine as well as an advanced all-wheel drive system, which marks a shift to better performance and efficiency in a spacious luxury car. So, there is no doubt as to why the new XTS is positioned right atop the centerpiece CTS models in Cadillac’s revamped lineup.

According to Don Butler, vice president for Cadillac Marketing, the XTS represents advanced technology driving the new formula for luxury. He says it showcases the evolution of the company’s Art & Science philosophy, wherein the best technical ideas and the continued Cadillac design refinement are joined together.

Simply put, the CUE is a highly customizable interface that exemplifies the merging of advanced technology with artistic design. The heart of CUE is the standard eight-inch screen at the "center stack," the steering wheel controls, and faceplate below the screen. The CUE boasts several industry firsts, which includes capacitive-touch control and proximity sensing, natural voice recognition, and gesture recognition.

Press Release

Sensor Fusion Enables Cadillac Safety Advancements

The all-new 2013 Cadillac XTS, the most technologically advanced production car the luxury brand has ever offered, introduces an advanced active safety and driver assistance system, a significant milestone toward the development of self-driving vehicles.

Coming this fall to XTS, the available Driver Assistance Package is the first General Motors system of its kind to use sensor fusion, which enables integration of a broad range of sensing and positioning technologies that can alert drivers of road hazards and help them avoid crashes.

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

“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 also is 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. It is envisioned that more sophisticated self-driving technology, that could enable semi and fully autonomous driving, will be available by the end of the decade.

GM’s leading-edge work on sensor fusion draws on its experience with The Boss, a fully autonomous Chevrolet Tahoe developed by GM, Carnegie Mellon University and other partner companies, and named for GM R&D founder Charles F. “Boss” Kettering. In 2007, The Boss navigated 60 miles of urban traffic, busy intersections and stop signs in less than six hours to win the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Urban Challenge competition.

Sensor fusion development also is bolstered by GM’s work on the EN-V, three semi-autonomous electric concept vehicles unveiled at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. By combining GPS with vehicle-to-vehicle communications, distance-sensing and object detection technologies, EN-V can be driven both manually and autonomously, the latter allowing it to automatically select the fastest route based on real-time traffic information.

Among the technologies that GM is looking to develop for future active safety systems is LIDAR, a light detecting and ranging technology that can measure the distance to a vehicle or object by illuminating it, often using pulses from a laser. Although LIDAR is no replacement for driver vision, it can become another set of eyes when visibility has deteriorated due to inclement weather or darkness. When combined with radar, cameras and ultrasonic sensors, LIDAR has potential crash avoidance capability.

A more advanced positioning system, using more accurate GPS and digital mapping, also is expected to play an important role on future active safety systems because it helps locate vehicles in relation to one another. While GPS effectiveness can be limited in urban canyon environments where high-rise buildings can interfere with satellite signals, the technology is still considered an asset when “fused” with other sensing and positioning technologies.

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

 

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