Though Cadillac partially unveiled the 2019 XT4 in its 2018 Oscar Academy Awards ad earlier this month, there are still many things we don’t know about the upcoming compact luxury crossover. Luckily, recent spy shots of the 2019 Cadillac XT4 interior show some interesting items, one of which is the apparent inclusion of NFC (Near Field Communications) technology.
Closely examining the area of the XT4’s cabin shows two notable items. The first is a large home button prominently positioned in the middle of the stack. This is button is nothing new, as all iterations of CUE – from the first-generation to the latest CUE 3.0 (which is being marketed without the CUE brand) have a button to bring users back to the home screen of the vehicle’s infotainment system. The second item is much more subtle. Located to the right (in the direction of the front passenger) of the home button, resides a stylized N. But this is no regular N, but rather the official logo of the NFC Forum known as the N-Mark, leading us to believe that the 2019 Cadillac XT4 will offer built-in Near Field Communications technology.
About NFC Technology
Short for Near-Field Communications, NFC is a set of communication protocols that enable two electronic devices to establish communication by bringing them in close proximity of each other, with one of the devices typically being a portable such as a smartphone. The technology works at a close-quarter distance of 1.6 inches (4 cm).
Currently, NFC has three general applications:
- Facilitating contactless payment systems like Apply Pay
- Creating more capable connections (such as authenticating the pairing of Bluetooth devices)
- Enabling electronic identity documents and keycards
What Could NFC Be Doing In The Cadillac XT4
We believe that Cadillac and GM’s Global Connected Customer Experience (GCCX) team have found a way to leverage NFC for one of two of the following functions in the XT4:
- A “pair to tap” function that pairs the user’s smartphone and the vehicle using Bluetooth, with NFC facilitating the phone-vehicle discovery and authentication processes.
- A way to use the driver’s smartphone as a key to the vehicle.
It’s worth noting that NFC could be present in the XT4 prototype pictured here for the purposes of development, and that it won’t be part of the actual production-intent vehicle. However, we do not believe that this will be the case, since we are not aware of any NFC-enabled vehicle development features or tools currently being utilized in the industry, mostly due to how nascent the technology is. But even if such tools did exist, then they would most likely be facilitated in a prototype/testing vehicle in the form of a temporary sticker, rather than a molded logo on the materials surrounding the center stack that looks to be quite ready for production.
About 2019 Cadillac XT4
The Cadillac XT4 is an upcoming compact crossover that will slot under the midsize XT5 as Cadillac’s second crossover utility vehicle (CUV). The XT4 will be underpinned by the front-drive-based E2 platform and will be produced at the Fairfax plant in Kansas City, Kansas.
From a business standpoint, the XT4 is significantly important for Cadillac’s plans for growth, since it will fill a glaring hole in the brand’s vehicle portfolio. With just a single crossover (the Cadillac XT5), Cadillac’s crossover lineup has been sorely lacking compared to competing luxury makes, which offer three or more crossovers. In fact, some rivals, such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz, offer up to seven CUVs/SUVs in their lineup, as utility vehicle sales are experiencing rampant growth in the marketplace.
2019 Cadillac XT4 Discussions
Discuss the XT4 in our Cadillac XT4 forum.