Automatic Brakes - 2013 Cadillac ATS Long-Term Road Test

2013 Cadillac ATS Long-Term Road Test

2013 Cadillac ATS: Automatic Brakes

August 1, 2013

2013 Cadillac ATS

Our long-term 2013 Cadillac ATS has this automatic braking system that, um, automatically engages the brakes in certain situations, namely ones that have the ingredients for crashing. No matter the manufacturer, these systems aren't perfect. They can't possibly assess every situation accurately. I say this not to excuse them, rather to recognize that this aspect is not unique to GM's system.

With that said, over the weekend the ATS went to full ABS braking for a split second while the car was in no way in any kind of perilous situation whatsoever. The car dropped the anchors as hard as they would go, if only for an instant. I'd just made a left onto a street with a slight curve in it, and the system misinterpreted the cars in the opposing lane as an impending oncoming disaster, and acted accordingly.

Were this my ATS, I'd turn this feature off, along with its Safety Seat and adaptive cruise control. Now if we could just replace its infuriating center stack controls.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor


  • mercedesfan mercedesfan Posts:

    Let me first say that while none of these systems are perfect, some do them better than others. For example, not once in the 7 years that I drove my S550 daily did it ever have false alarm with regards to Pre-Safe. It did, however, manage to avoid a serious accident once and avoided a handful of minor ones numerous times. Having said that, I can cut GM some slack because this is their first time developing such a system. On the other hand, this could have led to a rear-end accident. Not cool from a system designed to prevent accidents.

  • jeepsrt jeepsrt Posts:

    My 2011 Jeep Overland would alert me of a collision when the road curved and there was a tree off to the side, I got to just ignore it entirely.

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    I think Top Gear illustrated this well in last week's episode when Clarkson took the CX-5 and tried to get James May to run him over with it. Worked great. Then Jeremy tried to test it by running into May's RAV4/Mitsu.... and succeeded. I would honestly just turn it off unless I was tired.

  • cotak cotak Posts:

    Exactly it is likely topgear turned off the system so they would crash into the VW. As for the systems. You guys seriously think that each car company develops it's own? The fact that there are companies like getrag should tell you most car companies buys their at least some of their tech from suppliers.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    Does the system remember you've turned the features off, or do they reset to on when the car is restarted? I fear the day when the ability to turn these electronic hindrances off starts disappearing, like traction and stability control now.

  • "I think Top Gear illustrated" --- I enjoy Top Gear but I don't look to them for tests of systems or equipment. They are all about entertainment and getting a result they aim to get. They are very entertaining but so much is staged that it is hard to tell what is real and what was setup.--- I about gave up after their free runners vs motorcycle 'race' where it was so convenient that they had sugar glass in the interior windows in the office building and a 4 foot section of wall with no studs in it. And dozens of camera men along every path through the building just in case the competitors happened to choose a random path past them.

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    @zimtheinvader: Nobody takes Top Gear as a credible source for anything, but they illustrated a point.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    @zim - yeah, I was not a fan of that challenge either. That stretched the bounds of credibility even for Top Gear. They're at their best when you know it probably isn't 100% true, but it could be.

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