“The past is just that, past,” says the first slide on Cadillac’s Dare Greatly website. But they haven’t left the past behind.
Cadillac certainly do look to the past, but only at the spirit of innovation and forward-thinking that made them North America’s premiere automaker. From the invention of the electric starter in 1912 (which replaced hand cranks) to the first inclusion of GPS in 1996, Cadillac have a list of remarkable “firsts.” Those past achievements clearly set the bar high for the future of the company. But Cadillac is undoubtedly still taking risks in the pursuit of more industry firsts.
Take the Super Cruise feature available later this year as an example. Super Cruise will allow the driver to take her hands off the wheel while on the highway. The system “ does full-speed range adaptive cruise control and lane centering, using cameras and other sensors to automatically steer and brake.” Super Cruise isn’t fully autonomous, though. When approaching turns, the system will alert the driver to retake control of their vehicle. Facial and eye tracking will both be used to ensure the driver remains attentive, ready to resume control should circumstances necessitate it. This will be added to the existing suite of autonomous and safety technology in the Cadillac lineup.
It’s not yet clear which vehicles Super Cruise will be added to, but there are few likely candidates. The CTS just added Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communication. And the CT6 already has Cadillac’s most impressive array of technology. Nightvision, for example, uses radar and infrared sensors to identify pedestrians, animals, and obstacles in the dark and alerts the driver. Automatic parking and front pedestrian braking are also available as well as the 34-speaker Bose Panaray sound system with speaker mounted in the headrests. But it isn’t only the top end of Cadillac’s lineup that is benefitting from the company’s new/old ethos.
The Cadillac ATS
Consider the Cadillac ATS. With a standard 2.0L, 272-horsepower engine, and an available 3.6L V6 with 335 horsepower, the ATS is built to perform. The Auto Stop/Start technology in the engine is the invisible. In the competitor’s vehicles, you can feel the engine sag at red lights and shudder back to life when it turns green. Not in the ATS. Its components are working, even when they’re switched off. But to understand it only as a performance sedan, is to ignore its nuanced design.
No piece of the ATS arrests your immersion. You feel the steering wheel, the seat, and the road simultaneously. But you don’t feel anything you shouldn’t. Noticeable care has gone into the hand cut and sewn interior, and it pays off. There’s no neck craning or soreness after long drives. For technology, the ATS comes with Available Adaptive Forward Lighting and Park Assist, and standard Bose audio with Active Noise Cancellation. In short, the ATS is a great vehicle, one that admirably shoulders the the Dare Greatly challenge.
With daring at the heart of Cadillac’s design and manufacturing, the future is more exciting than ever. There is no discernible desire to rest on the achievements of the past. Instead, the company will keep pushing the envelope, leading drivers, and the industry as a whole, forward. To learn more about the 2017 Cadillac lineup, and the Dare Greatly campaign visit the link below.