Cadillac to introduce seat that gives safety warnings image

General Motors said Tuesday that its 2013 Cadillac XTS luxury sedan will include an industry-first safety feature – a vibrating seat that is designed to warn drivers of crash threats when driving and parking.

That’s right, if you’re in danger of crashing your new XTS luxury sedan, the seat will buzz your bum.

General Motors and other carmakers already include a number of systems designed to alert drivers of crashes, both visually and via an alert sound. But with navigation systems, stereos, phones, and other audible and visual distractions already in the vehicle, Cadillac wanted an alert that would stand out.

The Safety Alert Seat works with a variety of sensors and cameras installed in the car that help “intelligently” decide when to activate warnings. For example, if a turn signal is on, lane departure warnings are not presented.

Safety Alert Seat vibrations can be selected by the driver, via an in-vehicle menu, to replace the audible beeping alerts used across much of the industry.

GM has patented the technology developed under the leadership of Active Safety Technical Fellow Ray Kiefer, who has been working on the project since the 1990s.

This first-of-its-kind vibrating seat with directional warnings is one of several new safety technologies General Motors Co. will introduce on 2013 models of the Cadillac SRX, ATS and XTS.