2012 CES: GM Says Cue Infotainment System Will Work Like Apple's Siri

By Jacob Brown | January 09, 2012
By 2015, General Motors estimates 78 percent of cell phone users will have smartphones. Why should that statistic matter to you? Because GM is designing its in-car software to work seamlessly with the next generation of wireless technology. Speaking about Cue, the new Cadillac infotainment system that will first be available in the upcoming full-size XTS luxury sedan, Cadillac engineers and marketers explained that it will be able to use natural voice commands, pair up to 10 phones in its Bluetooth settings, and integrate with OnStar to use turn-by-turn command functions over both the voice system and on-screen. Unlike most current infotainment systems, Cue is based on a Linux platform using HTML, allowing it to be modular and easy to upgrade quickly. Linda Marshall, president of OnStar, noted that most platforms are designed years before they reach production and are vastly outdated by the time they're replaced in three to five years. With Cue, her goal is to have updates coming every 18 months, allowing Cue to move as quickly as the computers and smartphones on the market. Backed by a 32 gigabyte hard drive that holds the primary software, Cue is also able to download extra features, such as turn-by-turn navigation arrows on the screen, via a virtual cloud that holds vast amounts of information. Then, it installs such commands in Cue so that if cell phone reception were to go down, customers would still have their GPS directions.
In addition to integrating software applications into OnStar for ride sharing and social networking, GM has a whole host of other tricks up its sleeves that it's planning to put into its future models. Some examples seen Sunday night at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show are:
  • An expansion of availability for GM's OnStar FMV aftermarket rearview mirrors. GM says most non-GM customers to install it own Fords or Toyotas.
  • The availability of apps designed specifically for Cue, Cadillac's new infotainment system.
  • Rear tablet monitors mounted on seatbacks that can be controlled individually via a single in-car touchscreen or smartphone to play movies, music or even Skype while driving.
  • A digital speedometer and other instruments in the 2013 Cadillac XTS. Standard models will have analog gauges, with the digital versions coming as extra on uplevel models.
  • Cue will first appear on the 2013 Cadillac XTS, followed by the just-debuted Cadillac ATS sports sedan, and refreshed Cadillac SRX crossover debuting shortly thereafter.