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Cadillac Gives Buyers iPads — and Intro to Tech in the Fast Lane

Wednesday, 9 May 2012 | 11:27 AM ET

In a market where automobile manufacturers are making cars that talk, hear and even sense when the driver may be driving askew, it’s not surprising that there is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to adopting new automobile technologies. General Motors , however, is giving consumers a little push.

2013 Cadillac XTS
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2013 Cadillac XTS

“Expecting that everyone is going to have a learning curve with this new technology, we want everyone to embrace it; we don’t want people to ignore it,” said Mark Harland, manager of the connected customer at General Motors. “I want [people] to embrace it and learn it, that’s important to us as a company.”

GM’s Cadillac brand is launching the Cadillac User Experience (CUE), an in-vehicle system that uses touch and voice controls as way to access information and entertainment, in its latest release of the Cadillac XTS. As part of this launch, which is slated for later this spring, Cadillac is taking some steps to ensure consumers are comfortable with the technology.

One way they are doing this is by giving every buyer of the Cadillac XTS Apple's new iPad.

“We want to provide customers with tools to be comfortable,” Harland said. “The CUE, in terms of the touching and swiping and moving and pinching, is very similar to the iPad and tablets that are out there right now.”

There will be a preloaded app on the iPad that is a simulator of the CUE, allowing for the customer to get comfortable with the CUE system.

YouTube videos explaining how the CUE system works and a remote On-Star application will also come preloaded on the iPad.

General Motors is also committing more people to customer service specifically for the CUE system. Each dealership will be required to have two certified technology specialists that are trained in the CUE system, and there will be a team of people dedicated to the CUE system via phone, email and social media.

“Long story short, we’re trying to surround the customer and we’re benchmarking, not necessarily what we’ve done in the automotive industry, but what’s happening in consumer electronics,” Harland said.

email: tech@cnbc.com

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