Cadillac app store? CUE uses mobile phones for connected driving system
SAN DIEGO--GM's Cadillac announced a new in-vehicle connected driving system that will leverage a driver's mobile phone to provide a range of services, including hands-free calling and streaming music services. The offering is just the latest example of auto companies working to integrate smartphones into drivers' vehicle dashboards.
Click here to see a bigger version of this picture, which shows a demo display of Cadillac's CUE.
The new system, dubbed CUE (Cadillac User Experience), offers a variety of functions including a navigation system and a voice-recognition system. And instead of installing a wireless module to handle cellular requests, CUE instead connects to a user's mobile phone via Bluetooth or a wire and piggybacks on that connection for services including hands-free calling and streaming music and radio through CUE app partners Pandora and Stitcher.
"We didn't want you to have to have a unique data plan" for CUE, explained Micky Bly, executive director of GM's electrical systems. "Everyone has these [smartphones]."
GM rival Ford uses a similar tactic with its AppLink, which provides streaming services into the vehicle by connecting to users' existing phones.
Cadillac plans to begin selling its first CUE-capable car next year, and Bly said that by 2013 all of the company's cars would feature CUE services.
While Cadillac only announced the broad strokes of CUE here, it's clear that the company is planning to add additional features and functions to the system before launch. One of the company's promotional CUE videos showed off an icon for a Cadillac app store, and Bly confirmed that the company plans to allow developers to connect to CUE's capabilities. Such a scenario likely would allow CUE vehicle owners to find apps capable of working within their cars via the Cadillac app store. Bly declined to provide any details on the planned app store, noting only that the company plans to explain CUE further in the coming months before its official launch next year.
Interestingly, CUE will sit alongside GM's OnStar service in Cadillac's cars. OnStar has largely positioned itself as a safety feature in case of accidents, and Bly noted that OnStar runs only on 2G networks and therefore wouldn't be able to support the kind of streaming music that CUE enables through its support of services like Pandora.
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