As expected, the Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system will receive its first major update over the course of the next few weeks, GM Authority has learned. Said to roll out sometime in March, the update is said to enhance the system’s stability, address complaints, and add a handful of new features. Since its inception, CUE has been criticized for being slower and more sluggish than expected.
The update is expected to improve the overall performance of the infotainment system, including the speed with which it reacts to inputs and touchscreen gestures and capacitive controls.
CUE has also been widely criticized for its lack of hard buttons and knobs, a point of contention that goes well beyond the promise of a software update.
The update is also expected to deliver improvements to CUE’s navigation functionality. While mapping data will remain unchanged, engineers will have increased the amount of street names that CUE will display, while improving the system’s routing ability.
New Features: Siri Eyes-Free, Expanded Contact Syncing and Device Compatibility
Luckily, the update will also delight users by bringing some new features to CUE. For starters, the update will enable hands-free voice assistant functionality that’s increasingly found on today’s newest smartphones.
One of the most prominent automated voice assistants, Apple Siri, offers a version meant to be used specifically in a vehicle without looking directly at the phone. Named “Eyes Free”, the functionality will allow Siri to be accessed via a button on the steering wheel, with the personal assistant being capable of solely responding to certain commands, while disabling the iPhone’s screen for questions that can’t be communicated to the driver via the car’s audio/speaker system. The same functionality was announced for Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment systems several months ago, starting with the Spark and Sonic.
In addition, CUE will be compatible with other smartphone voice assistants, as long as the device utilizes the proper Bluetooth profile stacks (features, in non-geek-speak).
Rounding out the new features is an enhanced contact/address book synchronization, which is being expanded to 3,500 contacts from today’s 1,000; the update will also broaden the amount of USB media players recognized by the system.
The Update Process
Cadillac’s dealer body will administer the update to compatible vehicles — a process that differs from those of competitors, which offer updates to infotainment systems on USB drives or as downloadable software that’s then installed by the user. Cadillac dealers are said to expect the update and installation instructions later in February, while letters notifying customers of the update will be mailed in early March.
The update will be available to buyers of all 2013 model-year Cadillac vehicles equipped with CUE, including the ATS, SRX, and XTS. Customers will be offered loaner vehicles while the update is applied.
The GM Authority Take
These all seem like worthy and welcome improvements to CUE, even though the system will remain button- and knob-less… for now.