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Electronic News & Comment
Cadillac CUEs In-Car Entertainment
12/1/2011

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Designers pushed for a 1.8-liter storage area behind CUE's faceplate.
Designers pushed for a 1.8-liter storage area behind CUE's faceplate.

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Rob Spiegel
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Re: Development time
Rob Spiegel   12/28/2011 12:52:48 PM
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Yes, Ann, it's ironic that the outdoorsy vehicles that seemed so much cooler than our parents' luxury cars have become luxury cars themselves. And with little time spent doing outdoorsy activities. Now the argument I hear for SUVs is that in a collision the driver and passengers are much safer in an SUV.

When it comes down to it, the SUV is just another city-based luxury car that guzzles gas.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Development time
Ann R. Thryft   12/28/2011 12:47:16 PM
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Rob, I'm right up there at that north end along with you. So far, none of my friends have shifted to SUVs, which makes me happy, since they are such gas guzzlers. If SUVs have become the new luxury vehicles for seniors, then they're not much different from the ones our parents drove, except for some obvious differences in appearance. It's too bad that luxury vehicles, where innovation often is implemented, as Chuck points out, have to be so consistently unsustainable in terms of fuel consumption.


Rob Spiegel
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Re: Development time
Rob Spiegel   12/22/2011 2:56:49 PM
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Hi Ann,

I agree, many of us at the north end are not interested in luxury vehicles in the older sense of those cars. But I see a lot of people my age (boomer) have shifted to SUVs over the past decade or so. SUVs seem to have become the luxury vehilces of the boomers. In weight, size and gas consumption, they exceed the luxurty vehiles of the WWII generation.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Development time
Ann R. Thryft   12/8/2011 12:33:56 PM
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Chuck, the north end of the technology-inventing generation turned 60 recently, so although it's a small group at that end, the shift has already happened. I wonder iwhether they will want to buy luxury vehicles at all. Many of my contemporaries are not at all interested. I'm sure not.


Charles Murray
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Re: Development time
Charles Murray   12/7/2011 11:06:42 PM
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You raise a good point, Ann. If, as you suggest, the technology-inventing generation is getting old enough to buy luxury cars, than that should be good news for the rest of us who can't afford high-end vehicles. Luxury cars are a great place for technology to start out, because it gives the automakers a chance to build up economies of scale before they offer the technology to entry-level drivers.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Development time
Ann R. Thryft   12/6/2011 11:59:11 AM
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What a  concept indeed! I think it's too bad that this commonsense aftermarket research is associated only with luxury vehicles, not with the ones that most of us drive.

Regarding Cadillac's audience and their knowledge, or not, of technology, that's already changing as the technology inventing generation gets old enough to buy these cars.


Charles Murray
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Re: Leave the driving to us..
Charles Murray   12/5/2011 10:57:38 PM
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The automakers could stop proliferation of electronics in a heartbeat if they really wanted, but they sell cars through features and the features require more electronic control. Given the state of the automotive market, no one's going to volunteer to build a car with less features. They're so busy competing for a smaller pie that they end up offering capabilities that bring phones, music and Internet into the vehicle, even though they know these features are distracting to drivers.

RobLewis
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Now if they just didn't make such ugly cars!
RobLewis   12/5/2011 1:50:09 PM
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Woof

Alexander Wolfe
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Leave the driving to us..
Alexander Wolfe   12/4/2011 6:11:37 PM
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In an earlier column, Chuck discussed the rampant proliferation of electronics in modern automobiles. We're soon going to be at a tipping point where it will no longer be a question of whether consumers (used to be known as drivers) will be able to restrain themselves from being distracted by all the on-board telematics/electronics/information systems. And that's not to even mention McDonalds, the kids watching DVDs in the back, and texting while talking while driving. The logical endpoint of this is either autonomous vehicles (leave the driving to us, literally speaking) or IVHS. I don't believe autonomous cars will be viable for quite a while, DARPA and Google notwithstanding. (Even if they worked reliably, there are too many liability issues.) I do believe that Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems need to be revived. A great infrastructure project -- job creation -- and a way to keep cars moving efficiently on the highway while ensuring lives are saved.

Charles Murray
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Re: "Unboxing the car" - what a concept
Charles Murray   12/2/2011 4:20:25 PM
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I agree with you, Radioguy, that it's sad for a common sense process to be viewed as innovative. Maybe the reson for this is that the process must be carried out very carefully, lest the engineers come back with little to show for it. The challenge is taking the feedback and converting it to design ideas and technologies and, unfortunately, that's a tricky process. Executives take a dim view view of it when such efforts don't work and engineers are too often hesitant to suggest a costly methodology that offers no guarantees.  

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