2008 Cadillac CTS: Radio Tivo
June 02, 2008
On the commute to and from work I found one aspect of the hard-drive Bose audio system in our 2008 Cadillac CTS to be invaluable: I can pause, rewind and resume playing any radio program. I can skip commercials. It's radio Tivo, folks (well, not actually Tivo brand, but you get the idea.)
My 50-mile commute through the heart of LA can be terrible. I have two or three routes I can use, so AM traffic reports are a key part of my exit strategy. But I frequently find that the concentration required in traffic--staring at the bitchin' Camaro in the next lane, evading the idiot on the phone cutting me off, moving aside for lane-splitting motorcycles--often distract me from hearing the actual traffic report just when I need it most.
"Did he just say that big crash was on the I-5 south?" I wish I could rewind to hear it again. In our 2008 Cadillac CTS I can do exactly that. Su-wheet. In a single commute using it in context, the CTS's radio Tivo went from being an interesting idea to a must-have.
But I also experienced what might be the dark side of hard-drive, computer-based audio--a new way to "crash" a car, if you will. About halfway home, four of the five front speakers went out (the center channel still worked.) No amount of fader adjustment could bring them back. Once in my driveway, I tried shutting-off the engine, waiting 10 seconds or so and then restarting--essentailly rebooting the car.
It worked, and the CTS's stereo has been behaving normally ever since. We'll watch for this to see if it recurs. Perhaps it was a fluke.
But I have to say that I've begun to see scattered instances of odd problems that were cured by rebooting on other brands of cars with high-tech on-board systems. I'm going to have to start keeping a log because I can't remember specific examples. People may have been been conditioned to accept rebooting as a way to solve problems on a PC, but I don't think this is acceptable behavior in a car, ever. After all, I keep hearing that full-blown steer and brake-by-wire systems are coming.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 6,265 miles