General Motors annoyed a number of new electric vehicles at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2021, chief among them the upcoming Cadillac Celestiq. The carmaker described the Celestiq as “an ultra-luxury, fully electric … show car”. And while we still don’t have a release date or really any suitable features, notice, GM has revealed some interesting features that are sure to whet your appetite.
GM first showed Celestiq to a handful of reporters at its EV Day event in early 2020, but has not yet released any images to the public. The ultra-luxury sedan is to serve as a companion to the Cadillac Lyriq, which was introduced last August. Both vehicles will be built on GM̵
Celestiq will have all-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and a full glass roof. There is nothing really unique about the panoramic glass roof, but Cadillac takes it to the next level by making its roof modularly adjustable. The carmaker describes it as a “smart glass with a four-quadrant particle suspension device” that allows each passenger in the car to set their own level of transparency. The shade of the glass will match the ambient lighting in the interior cabin, said Crystal Windham, director of interior design at Cadillac, during the CES presentation.
If that doesn’t intrigue you, maybe a massive column-by-pillar touch screen will grab you. The Cadillac Lyriq received a lot of attention (both positive and negative) for its curved, 33-inch LED infotainment display. And now Cadillac seems ready to jump over this screen with an even bigger one in Celestiq.
There is currently a bit of a race for information and entertainment weapons in the automotive industry, with old carmakers and start-ups trying to outdo each other in size and functionality. Mercedes-Benz threw down its gauntlet last week with the unveiling of its astonishingly giant 56-inch Hyperscreen, which appeared on the EQS electric sedan later this year. Cadillac did not disclose the size of the Celestiq screen, but promised to cover the entire dash of the vehicle.
The picture quality promises to be the next level. Earlier, Cadillac described the Lyriq display as “the highest pixel density available in the automotive industry today, and can display more than a billion colors, 64 times more than any other vehicle in the automotive industry.” Prepare your eyes to be smeared with pixels.
Of course, we have yet to figure out how distracting for the driver all these screens will be. Without a robust driver monitoring system to ensure that drivers stay focused on the road, these ultra-large screens can pose a huge responsibility and safety risk. A recent AAA study found that many digital infotainment systems that appear in newer cars may be distracting enough to increase the risk of accidents, especially for older drivers.
To be clear, the Cadillac Celestiq is likely to include the Super Cruise, GM’s advanced hands-free driver assistance system that includes a driver monitoring feature. Let’s hope it’s successful by keeping the drivers’ eyes on the road, not the screen.