(Nearly) Driving the Cadillac Volt

Chris Ziegler’s first question upon taking temporary delivery of an $82,000, tarted-up Chevy hybrid was, “Has GM lost its mind?” Before answering that, let’s see what you get for $82,000:

I won’t dwell on Cue because it’s essentially the same as the system that Cadillac has been using for the past couple years, but it needs a lot of work. It’s slow — I’d even argue that it’s dangerously slow. Operations that should be instantaneous (switching between radio and navigation controls, for instance) often took multiple seconds, distracting me and taking my eyes off the road for far longer than would be considered reasonable. Animations on the moving map — changing zoom level, showing upcoming turns, so on — never exceeded 6 or 8 fps, visibly stuttering the entire time. The processors used in cars aren’t bound to the same power-sipping requirements that phones are, yet Google Maps on my Nexus 5 consistently ran circles around Cue. It doesn’t make sense. GM needs to throw considerably more processing power at this system, but ultimately, it might simply come down to technologies like CarPlay and Android Auto taking over and putting these proprietary systems to shame.

$82,000 and the radio doesn’t work right.