Cadillac's made a sumptuous spy car
Call it a spy car. The 2016 Cadillac CT6 is already turning heads because of its new Omega platform and its sumptuous appointments. But there's more: Embedded between the sleek exterior sheetmetal and the buttery leather interior are seven cameras that confer a new level of luxury—the luxury of an all-knowing, all-seeing driving experience. Front, rear, and side cameras show you more than you could ever see from swiveling your head and peering into the mirrors. In fact, even the rearview mirror has a new trick.
These cameras would make any car safer, but they're invaluable for getting around the blindspots and blocked views of a larger car like the CT6. Keep reading to find out where these cameras are and what they do.
Surround Vision: 4 cameras, 360 degrees of view
Surround Vision is a feature I wish I had in my own cars. It uses four cameras on the front, rear, and sides to display a 360-degree view of the car and the area immediately around it. As you can see in this image, it's extremely useful for seeing the lines when you're maneuvering into a parking space. You can also see a rear view here to help you back out.
One: The front camera for Surround Vision and video
Right under the Cadillac badge on the front grille you'll find one of four cameras that feed the car's Surround Vision feature. It also can record video of the road directly ahead of the car—a nifty feature for vacation memories or insurance purposes.
Two and three: Side cameras for Surround Vision
Cadillac tucked cameras underneath each sideview mirror to contribute to the Surround Vision data. The lighter-colored sensor next to the camera is a photosensor for the mirror's autodimming feature.
Four and five: The views from the back
Right over the license plate you'll find the two rear cameras. The round-rimmed one on the right finishes out the Surround Vision array. The one on the left, with the octagonal rim, works with my second-favorite feature, the Rear Camera Mirror. Check that out on the next slide.
The Rear Camera Mirror's unobstructed vision
Flip the little lever underneath the rearview mirror, and it'll switch to the Rear Camera Mirror view, showing a slightly fisheyed view of the rear of your car, but with a wider field that eliminates the blindspots. You're also spared the headrests that would block your own eyes if you looked back. The view is streamed in HD video in real time. I loved this feature when I tried it on the Chevy Bolt a year ago.
Six: Watching out for walkers
This camera mounted on the windshield, over the rearview mirror, is part of the Pedestrian Collision Mitigation System. It looks ahead on the road and issues warnings if it sees anyone crossing the car's path. If you don't react, it can help trigger automatic braking to avoid an accident.
Seven: Advanced Night Vision's infrared eye
Discreetly nestled in the upper-left corner of the front grille, the Advanced Night Vision Camera uses infrared to help you see better at night. See what this looks like in the next slide.
The driver's view of Advanced Night Vision
The Advanced Night Vision view displays in the instrument cluster, directly in front of the driver's field of view. At night, you can see how this feature would help you avoid pedestrians who decide to dash in front of you in dark clothing, let alone the child or dog walking with them.
You'll need to buy a CT6 to get all seven of these talented cameras today, but there's hope: The 2017 Cadillac XT5 and 2017 Chevy Bolt will have the Rear Camera Mirror. If tradition holds, more of these features will trickle into other GM models over time.