General Motors revealed
the most technologically integrated vehicle ever at today's opening
of the 2005 SAE World Congress. The Cadillac STS SAE 100, which pays
homage to SAE's 100th anniversary, will serve as a working
laboratory that will aid engineers in developing future production
"We have challenged our engineers to take the best of today's
vehicle technologies and integrate them with promising future
technologies to demonstrate how they will function together in a
real-world driving environment," said Jim Queen, GM vice president,
Global Engineering and general chairperson of the 2005 SAE World
Congress. GM is the host company for this year's World Congress.
GM worked with 38 suppliers to integrate 50 different technologies
into the STS SAE 100, ranging across safety, chassis, powertrain,
electrical and comfort and convenience categories. Nineteen have
never been in production, 22 are in production somewhere other than
the 2005 STS and nine are currently on the production 2005 STS.
The vehicle, commissioned by Queen and executed by the GM
Performance Division Vehicle Development Center, is much more than a
"dream team" of technologies: Engineers will use it to document how
the various technologies interface with each other and how they can
be applied to future production vehicles.
"Vehicle integration is behind game-changing safety features like
electronic stability control, which we are rolling out across our
entire fleet," said Queen.
"Our goal with this vehicle was not simply to see how many different
technologies can be incorporated into one vehicle. We want to learn
how a variety of relevant current and future technologies can be
made to function harmoniously while enhancing the total driving
STS SAE 100 technologies include (see accompanying sheet for full
list of technologies and their suppliers):
system: This prototype system uses actual pictures taken by
satellites to provide the driver with a "bird's-eye-view" of the
vehicle's surroundings. The images are so detailed that even
trees and lampposts are visible. This detail helps the driver to
relate the images on the navigation screen to his surroundings.
sensor: An industry first in new vehicle features, this oil
probe can determine and detect the actual level and remaining
engine oil life. It can reduce the need for costly engine
repairs due to poor oil maintenance as well as prevent
unnecessary oil changes.
mirror with embedded organic LED screen: This new device
offers clear images from the rear seat (via a rear seat camera)
or back-up camera, depending on what gear the vehicle is in. In
addition to improving visibility behind the vehicle, it can
reduce the distraction associated with tending to rear seat
limited slip differential: Unlike passive LSD, this
technology enhances vehicle traction without brake/engine
intervention, as well as provides additional vehicle stability
from the differential yaw dampening effect. It also is easier to
integrate with electronic stability control systems.
fiber wheel with magnesium spokes: This two-piece wheel is
designed to be the lightest yet strongest wheel in production,
which reduces unsprung weight. Reducing unsprung weight improves
acceleration, braking efficiency, handling and fuel consumption.
warning: Using a real-time vision system, it detects road
markings and notifies the driver with a visual signal and a
vibration (haptic alert) in the seat when a vehicle traveling at
more than 35 mph crosses over the markings unintentionally. This
technology could be especially promising in curbing
Side blind zone
alert: Radar sensors warn a driver about to change lanes if
another vehicle is in the driver's blind spot. According to the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, these crashes
damage 830,000 vehicles annually.
system: Removing a gas cap can be difficult for arthritic,
disabled or elderly people. With this system, the user simply
pushes an interior button and an electronically activated ball
spins open to allow access to the fuel pipe, and closes when the
nozzle is removed. In addition, a capless system means there's
no cap to lose and no risk of a loose cap triggering a dashboard
control: Rear impacts account for nearly 29 percent of
police-reported crashes, and most are due to driver inattention.
Adaptive cruise control, already available on some Cadillacs,
uses sensors to detect objects in the vehicle's path and slow it
color head-up display: This HUD projects digital readouts of
key data (speedometer, navigation system turn prompts, tapshift,
audio settings and adaptive cruise control status and alerts)
onto the windshield in an easy-to-read and intuitive way.
entertainment system: Who says only the people in the front
seat can have fun? This entertainment system consists of two,
6.5-inch headrest-mounted LCD screens, wireless infrared
headphones and two Microsoft Xboxes with DVD packages. Players
can even "feel" the action with a haptic controller.
camera: This system provides a wide angle view of the area
behind the vehicle for detecting obstacles while backing up. The
field of view is projected onto the navigation screen in the
The STS SAE 100 is
powered by a supercharged LS2 engine yielding 505 horsepower at 5600
rpm and 520 lb.-ft. of torque at 3600 rpm. It is mated to GM
HydraMatic's newly developed, longitudinal 6L90E six-speed
transmission, capable of supporting more powerful engines like the
supercharged LS2. The transmission features Driver Shift Control,
which gives the driver the ability to shift gears sequentially with
a tap up/ tap down mechanism.
The STS SAE 100 was tested at GM's proving grounds in Milford, Mich.
and Mesa, Ariz.