General Motors has just announced of a new alert safety feature that will be in the 2013 Cadillac XTS, which will launch later this spring. From the demonstration video, we see that the new safety feature relies on the alert system to make a tactile output to alert the driver of dangers.
Cadillac has patented its new safety feature called the Safety Alert Seat, which is an industry first system to use a tactile vibrations on the driver’s seat to warn of a crash threat during driving. For example, it vibrates when the alert system senses potential dangers including drifting from a traffic lane or toward nearby objects while parking. The vibration on the driver’s seat is directional, which if it senses danger in the left, it will vibrate in left side of the driver’s seat. And if the danger is in the rear of the car when backing up, it will vibrate in rear part of the seat. Vice-versa for the front and right sides.
“It’s akin to someone tapping on your shoulder in a crowd to get your attention,” says GM Active Safety Technical Fellow Raymond Kiefer. “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.”
According to Raymond Kiefer, the vibration alert is more accurate and faster than audio or visual alerts, which helps to decrease the response time for the driver to react out of danger.
The vibrating alert system will be part of the Driver Awareness and Driver Assist packages for the 2013 Cadillac XTS, however, it will become widely available in other Cadillac models later this year.