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Cadillac Pulls A Page From Hyundai’s Playbook 9
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Apple iPad, Apps, Automotive, Cadillac, CUE, Infotainment Systems, Kurt, News on 05 9th, 2012

Cadillac's CUE iPad app. Image: © GM Corp.

When Hyundai launched its upscale Equus sedan in the United States, it did so with an innovative marketing move: rather than include a paper version of the owners manual, it loaded the full document onto an Apple iPad, which was included with the purchase of the car. That lasted exactly one model year, and Equus models now come with an abbreviated owners manual and a a DVD packed with the full version.

To mark the launch of its CUE (Cadillac User Experience) infotainment system in the upcoming Cadillac XTS, the luxury automaker is doing something very similar. XTS buyers will get a free iPad, but it won’t come loaded with just the car’s owner’s manual. Instead, it will contain an app that mirrors the CUE interface, allowing XTS buyers to learn the system when and where they choose.

The iPad will also contain the MyCadillac app, which allows owners to locate a dealer, schedule service, read the owners manual, get reminders on parking or summon roadside assistance, and the OnStar RemoteLink app, which allows remote locking and unlocking of doors and displays the status of various vehicle systems.

We think this is a smart move on behalf of Cadillac, since infotainment systems can be challenging for some customers to learn (just ask Ford and Lincoln). To ensure this isn’t a problem with CUE, Cadillac is also deploying 25 Connected Customer Experts across the United States to provide a training resource for dealers and customers. It’s even added CUE experts to its customer service center in Austin, Texas, ensuring that questions on specific smartphones and CUE features are answered quickly and accurately.

Just in case that’s not enough, every new XTS and ATS buyer will receive a welcome call from Cadillac, giving buyers a personal contact should questions arise.

Ford Launches App To Tease New Fusion Sedan: Video 14
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2013 Ford Fusion, Apps, Automotive, Ford, Kurt, video, Videos on 12 14th, 2011

It’s bad enough when automakers tease new products by leaking faked “spy photos” months in advance, but Ford has taken jumping-the-shark to an entirely new level with the 2013 Ford Focus. Not content to give us a few images of the directional signal, or the wiper switch, or stitching on the upholstery, Ford has actually created an app for the iPhone or Android platforms whose sole purpose is to build interest in the new Fusion. We realize that some people have excess time on their hands, but we can’t imagine having that much down time. Ever.

The app doesn’t show you the new Fusion, except in heavily disguised form. You can see ”re-imagined” versions, a la Pimp My Ride, and “drive” them on up to 19 different courses. You also get sound bites from the designers and engineers behind the car, and exclusive video content leading up to the Fusion’s launch at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. The app also lets you see the reveal on the same day the new Fusion is launched, saving you a trip to Detroit in January.

An app like this would be hugely popular for an aspirational car like the Porsche 911 or the BMW M5. For a relatively common midsize sedan like the Ford Fusion, we’re not sure that we see the point. It’s unlikely that the app will hit the same demographic as the Fusion sedan, so we’re not sure it will help move cars or even draw much interest to the product.

We haven’t seen the new Fusion up close and personal yet, but we’ve heard (very) good things about it. We’ll be sure to let you know when we have details to report.

The Ultimate Drive? There’s An App For That 11
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Apps, Automotive, BMW, Find of the week, Kurt, The Ultimate Drive on 08 11th, 2011

Wouldn’t it be cool if there was an app to tell you about great driving roads near you? One that rated them and gave details on why the road was so good? Better yet, what if the app allowed you to share routes on Facebook or via e-mail, and even upload them to a GPS device? Thanks to BMW Financial Services, there is, and the best part is that the app is free.

Available for both iPhone and Android platforms, The Ultimate Drive shows you scenic and entertaining roads all over the Untied States, and in 49 other countries. If you live in Colorado or Southern California, epic roads are a dime a dozen; living here in Florida, they’re a bit harder to come by. Sure enough, though, The Ultimate Drive gave me a few nearby roads that I didn’t even know about.

It’s an interactive app, so drivers can upload and save their favorite stretches of asphalt. In the future, the app will award you points based on the number of routes you’ve driven, and will rank drivers by their scores. If you’re awarded the “Mayor of Deal’s Gap” honor, I’m guessing you know your way through the Dragon well enough.

I haven’t had much time to play around with it, so I can’t give you an official review just yet. It’s a great concept, and it’s a whole lot easier than staring at Google Maps for hours on end. I’d say it’s worth a download.

Source: Left Lane News