Chevrolet’s announcement of its new MyLink infotainment system in January 2011 certainly raised questions about GM’s overall infotainment and connectivity strategy: why is the Chevy MyLink name so similar to OnStar MyLink? What about Buick, GMC, and Cadillac? Will Opel-Vauxhall and Holden get their own version of the system?
A couple months later, in April 2011, GM’s infotainment plan began to take shape when Buick-GMC unveiled its own variant of Chevy MyLink, called Intellilink. But Cadillac was nowhere to be seen. In fact, two more months have passed since GM announced IntelliLink at the 2011 New York International Auto Show, and we haven’t heard a peep about new infotainment features from Cadillac in any official capacity.
However, GM Authority sources have recently let slip that GM’s top luxury brand is finalizing plans to offer its own version of Chevrolet MyLink/Buick-GMC IntelliLink in its vehicles for the 2013 model year. The sources, which have a proven track record with GM Authority, say that Cadillac’s infotainment system will not be a re-brand of the Chevy (MyLink) or Buick-GMC (IntelliLink) systems. Instead, the system — which is expected to first be offered on the 2013 SRX — will offer a high level of differentiation by offering a “very different” user experience and interaction characteristics.
A source who has spent time with a beta (pre-production) version of the Cadillac infotainment system told GM Authority that BMW’s iDrive, Audi’s MMI, and Mercedes-Benz’s COMMAND systems “don’t hold a candle” to what Caddy will offer.
As you may recall, Chevrolet MyLink/Buick-GMC IntelliLink will offer several infotainment features such as smartphone integration via Bluetooth and/or USB for delivering text messages and emails to the vehicle. What’s more, the systems will provide playback of (audio) files stored on a smartphone or MP3 player and will also be capable of using Stitcher and Pandora internet radio as audio sources via Bluetooth Audio (A2DP) or USB. The user will be able to control the smartphone or audio player using voice commands and/or controls mounted on the steering wheel.
And while we do know this much about MyLink and IntelliLink, the feature set of the upcoming Cadillac system is not widely unknown. But from what we’ve been able to gather from industry insiders, the Caddy system will not only provide infotainment functionality but will also give users the ability to control vehicle features such as climate/HVAC.
The GM Authority Take
“Sooner is better than later”… right? In this case, it’s more like “later is better than never”.
We already know that 2012 model-year Cadillacs will not offer anything new as far infotainment is concerned… but if 2013 is, in fact, the year that a serious infotainment (and more!) system will become available in Cadillac vehicles, then we’d be okay by that. However, it’s important to note that by that time, (infotainment) systems offered by competitors (iDrive, COMMAND, MMI, etc.) will have evolved and improved — so Cadillac simply needs to launch its system as soon as humanly possible and then iterate (with updates) as often as possible.
What’s more, whether the introduction of the Caddy infotainment system — whatever it ends up being called — will coincide with a thorough tech transformation of the Cadillac cabin along the lines of a touch-sensitive center stack layout (as recently spied) is still unknown — but we certainly hope that it will be the case, especially judging from our source’s references to BMW iDrive and Mercedes-Benz COMMAND systems
In any event, is anyone else eager about the impending Cadillac cabin tech announcement? Sound off in the comments below.