A few months ago, we spied a 2020 Cadillac CT4 prototype undergoing testing with a rather odd-looking device protruding from its front end. From the pictures, it looked like some kind of strange propeller attached to a long metal pole strapped to the underside of the sedan’s front bumper. After wondering what it could possible be, we’ve uncovered that it’s a device used to measure crosswinds.
Thanks to input from our automotive engineering friends, we understand that Cadillac was using the device to either develop or calibrate a driver assist feature meant to deal with crosswinds for the upcoming Cadillac CT4. Such a driver aid would be able to detect a strong crosswind while the vehicle is in motion, then apply steering and braking corrections to counteract the crosswind, thereby keeping the vehicle centered and in its lane.
A crosswind correction assist feature would most likely be offered as part of Cadillac’s Lane Keep Assist active safety feature, while integrating with various other onboard vehicle systems, such as electronic stability control, the electronic steering system, and adaptive suspension.
For those not intricately familiar with crosswinds, they as essentially strong gusts of wind that move laterally across the vehicle’s body. It’s a term often heard in aviation, but it applies to cars as well. Sometimes, these crosswinds are strong enough to actually push the car one way or another while driving down the road. For example, of what happens when a large, fast-moving truck passes a car on the freeway.
Crosswinds can be especially unnerving when navigating tight roads or when sharing the road with several other vehicles, so it’s nice to see Cadillac developing and/or refining some sort of countermeasure for the Cadillac CT4.