When the new-for-2013 Cadillac XTS goes on sale this summer, it'll be the first vehicle to count a vibrating seat among its safety features. Cadillac's Safety Alert Seat uses pulsating inputs to alert the driver of dangers on the road.
The system sends vibrations to the left and/or right side of the lower seat bolster to warn of a possible crash while driving or parking. It works with the XTS' other safety systems, including forward collision alert, lane departure warning, blind spot warning and rear cross traffic alert.
Vibrating steering wheels used to convey an impeding accident are offered on several vehicles on the market, but this is the first time the driver's seat has been used. According to GM, research shows that the vibrating seat quickly and accurately focuses the driver's attention to where it's needed, and it does so quicker than beeping alerts.
"Vibrating alerts also may help drivers who do not hear beeping alerts due to hearing loss or competing noises, and may be preferred by drivers and passengers who might be annoyed by beeps and shut crash avoidance features off," said Raymond Kiefer, GM's active safety technical fellow, in a statement.