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Cadillac Seats To Vibrate As Crash Warning

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On: Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 4:29PM | By: Chris Weiss

Cadillac Seats To Vibrate As Crash Warning

GM plans to launch a vibrating driver's seat in the upcoming 2013 Cadillac XTS. The seat isn't designed to relax or massage the driver, but rather to warn him of impending dangers.

The new system, which GM calls the Cadillac Safety Alert Seat, uses directional tactile sensation - a fancy way of saying a vibrating seat bottom. The seat vibrates on the left side or right side, depending upon which side the danger is on. When the danger is coming from the rear or front, the seat vibrates on both sides. For instance, if you begin to veer over into the right line, the right side of your seat will start to vibrate as a cue to straighten out.

“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 in a press release. ""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 seats are one new aspect of the Cadillac Driver Awareness and Driver Assist packages, a series of sensor and alert systems designed to enhance driver awareness and vehicle safety. Other systems in that suite include Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert and Side Blind Zone Alert systems.

The Safety Alert Seat also works with other vehicle systems. For instance, a warning would not be activated if you had your blinker on and were purposefully changing lanes. Drivers can adjust Safety Alert Seat settings from the in-car menu.

GM's research indicates that directional vibration alerts can direct driver attention to the location of the problem more quickly than beeping alert systems.


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