Cadillac Shows Off Augmented Reality in 2021 Escalade
January 18, 2021
The Cadillac Escalade was introduced in 1999 as a result of the rising popularity of the Lincoln Navigator. But over the last two decades, the Escalade has forged its own path in the automotive industry. It is no longer seen as a vehicle that was launched to help General Motors compete with its rival, Ford. Instead, it is seen as an iconic full-sized luxury sports utility vehicle (SUV).
The Escalade has been ranked the best-selling full-sized luxury SUV on the market year after year. Much of this success is owed to Cadillac’s commitment to innovation, which was on full display several months ago when the automotive company revealed the 2021 Cadillac Escalade.
The latest model of the Cadillac Escalade has a number of new and exciting features. But what made headlines was the 2021 Escalade’s use of cutting-edge augmented reality technology.
What is Augmented Reality Technology?
Augmented reality is a technology that allows users to superimpose digital elements onto their real-world environment. The digital elements are often visual in nature, such as images, but sounds and other sensory stimuli can be superimposed as well.
The purpose of this technology is to enhance the user’s experience with their own surroundings.
How is Augmented Reality Currently Used in the Automotive Industry?
Augmented reality is often associated with the gaming industry. It’s true that this technology has been used to create countless apps and games, but it’s also widely used in other fields, including the automotive industry.
Augmented reality is currently used in many different ways in the automotive industry, including:
- Maintenance/Repairs Assistance
- Training and Education
- Heads Up Displays (HUDs)
- Consumer Education
Several automotive manufacturers, including BMW, use augmented reality technology to assist mechanics with maintenance and repairs.
Mechanics can use augmented reality glasses to access digital instructions or videos to assist with the maintenance or repair of a vehicle.
They can even use these glasses to communicate with a remote team of experts, who will be able to project digital elements onto the mechanic’s surroundings to help them understand what needs to be done to complete the repair.
Using augmented reality in this manner helps mechanics quickly diagnose issues, make difficult repairs, and perform routine maintenance tasks on vehicles.
Some automotive manufacturers also use augmented reality technology to assist with the process of designing a new vehicle model. One of these manufacturers is Ford, which uses the technology to identify potential issues with a design before it is finalized.
For example, say the design team at Ford wants to add a larger infotainment screen to the interior of a new model. Ford designers can use augmented reality technology to project a digital image of this large-sized screen onto the interior of the actual car. This allows the designers to see how the larger-sized screen will look once it is in the vehicle.
At this point, the designers may realize that the large size of the screen simply won’t fit or will take away from other interior features. This example shows how designers can use this technology to identify and address potential design issues before they are put into production.
Training and Education
Teachers may use augmented reality technology to teach students who are interested in going into automotive repair or design. This technology allows these students to gain hands-on experience in these fields so they can acquire the skills they need to succeed in the industry.
Manufacturers also rely on augmented reality technology to provide training sessions to employees. For example, this technology might be used to provide instructions to assembly workers who are tasked with building a new vehicle part or model.
Heads Up Displays (HUDs)
Numerous automotive manufacturers now design vehicles with heads up displays, or HUDs, that are powered by augmented reality technology.
This type of display uses augmented reality technology to project digital elements such as navigational directions, speed limits, and road hazard warnings onto the driver’s windshield.
Automotive manufacturers use augmented reality technology to educate consumers on the latest models, too.
Some manufacturers allow consumers to superimpose digital images or 3-D renderings of a vehicle directly onto their surroundings. Consumers can then walk around the digital vehicle, look inside, and explore its features just as they would if they were looking at the vehicle at a dealership.
This gives consumers the opportunity to learn more about a specific vehicle without ever stepping foot into a dealership. In other words, it gives consumers the power to conduct research and make a purchase decision from the comfort of their own homes.
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade’s Augmented Reality Navigational Tool
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade is designed with more than 38 inches of diagonal display screens, including a 14.2 inch digital instrument cluster that is located front and center. This screen does much more than simply display the driver’s speed and engine revolutions. It is also designed with augmented reality turn-by-turn navigational assistance.
The augmented reality navigational assistance tool is launched whenever the driver has entered a route into the navigation system. In other words, this feature is activated whenever the driver is relying on the vehicle’s GPS system to get to their final destination.
The screen will display a live video feed from the camera located in the front of the vehicle. Digital elements such as arrows and signs will be projected onto this live video feed using augmented reality technology. These digital elements are designed to help drivers clearly see where they need to go in order to get to their destination.
For example, the system may superimpose brightly colored digital arrows onto the live video feed to alert the driver that they need to turn right or left. Drivers will never need to squint their eyes in an attempt to read street signs and figure out where to turn again. They can rely solely on this augmented reality navigation system to determine where to go.
Because the screen is located directly in front of the driver, it’s easy for the driver to see these visual prompts without taking their eyes off of the road. This way, the driver does not need to look down at their smartphone in order to see driving directions. This allows the driver to focus on the road and reduces their risk of getting into an accident as a result of a distraction.
Furthermore, the system will provide audio prompts to help the driver navigate to their final destination. This ensures that drivers can easily figure out where they’re going, regardless of whether they prefer to see or listen to navigational instructions.
What Else Can Consumers Expect From the 2021 Cadillac Escalade?
There’s no doubt that the augmented reality navigation system is one of the most exciting features of the latest Escalade model. But there are a number of other features that every consumer should know about when deciding whether or not to purchase this vehicle.
As previously mentioned, the vehicle features more than 38 inches of display screens. In addition to the 14.2-inch digital instrument screen, the vehicle also has a 7.2-inch screen located to the driver’s left. This screen displays important information, including the average miles per gallon and trip distance. The remaining 16.9 inches is reserved for the vehicle’s infotainment system, which is located in the center of the dashboard.
All three are OLED screens, which means they display vivid colors and clear pictures. Each screen is also slightly curved toward the driver, making it easier for the driver to see the displays without having to crane their neck.
Another feature that can be accessed through these screens is night vision. Drivers can activate this feature at night to help them see the road ahead and easily identify pedestrians, animals, and other hazards.
Some models of the 2021 Cadillac Escalade are also designed with a 36-speaker sound system from AKG. This system allows the driver to set different audio levels for different areas of the vehicle.
For example, say the kids in the backseat want to listen to their music, but the parents in the front don’t want to hear it. In this case, the parents can turn the audio level in the backseat up and the audio level in the front seat down.
The 2021 Escalade is designed with a handful of different safety features, too. Some of these safety features include standard automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, front pedestrian braking, rear pedestrian alert, lane change alert, and lane departure warning. The vehicle also has enhanced automatic parking assist, which helps drivers safely park their vehicles in tight spaces.
These are some of the many new and exciting features incorporated into the design of the 2021 Escalade. The standard 2021 Escalade starts at $77,490, but the more high-end models cost upwards of $100,000.
What is the Future of Augmented Reality in the Automotive Industry?
Augmented reality technology has already been widely embraced by various automotive manufacturers. But experts believe that this technology will continue to grow in popularity and drive innovation within the industry over the next several years. There are countless applications for this technology in the automotive industry, so there’s no telling how it will be used in the future. But one thing is certain: automotive manufacturers will need to find new and exciting ways to use this technology in order to stay competitive.