Automatic Parking Assist Operation

The Automatic Parking Assist system available on 2014-2015 SS, CTS Sedan and XTS searches for and steers the vehicle into parallel or perpendicular parking spots (perpendicular parking not available on 2014 CTS Sedan and XTS). (Fig. 1) Ultrasonic sensors are used to detect the width and depth of either parallel or perpendicular (reverse right-angle) parking spaces. The system provides hands-free steering, but the driver must still shift gears and control the brakes and accelerator.

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Fig 1


Parking the Vehicle


The Automatic Parking Assist system operates when the vehicle speed is less than 18 mph (30 km/h). To use the system:


1. Press the Automatic Parking Assist button (on the center console or next to the infotainment touch screen) to enable the system. A beep sounds and a parking assist display is shown in the Driver Information Center (DIC). (Fig. 2) The system will begin searching for a large enough parking space. The system cannot detect whether it is a legal parking space.

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Fig 2


2. If equipped with perpendicular parking mode, press and hold the Automatic Parking Assist button during the search process to switch between parallel and perpendicular parking. The vehicle always backs in to a perpendicular parking space.

3. The system searches for parking spaces to the right of the vehicle. To search for a parking space to the left, turn on the left turn signal.

4. After completely passing a large enough space bordered by two vehicles or other objects, the system provides instructions on the DIC. Shift to Reverse to engage automatic steering.

5. The driver should let go of the steering wheel and accelerate or brake as required. Be sure to always check surroundings and be prepared to brake.

6. Parking Complete is displayed and a beep sounds when the parking maneuver is complete.


If the vehicle does not steer into the expected space, the system may be maneuvering the vehicle into a previously detected space. If the steering wheel is used by the driver or the vehicle exceeds 6 mph (10 km/h), Automatic Parking Assist is automatically disengaged.


Click below for a video demonstration of the Automatic Parking Assist system. (Fig. 3)


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Fig 3


System Components


The parking assist system components include:

• Front and rear parking assist control module

• Front object sensors

• Rear object sensors

• Side object sensors

• Parking assist switch

• Parking assist switch indicator

• Automatic Parking Assist switch


The Front and Rear Parking Assist control module uses the side object sensors located near the wheel openings (Fig. 4), along with the front and rear park assist sensors, to guide the vehicle into a parking space. The Front and Rear Parking Assist control module provides a 12 V reference and a low reference to the object sensors. The individual signals from each of the sensors are used to determine the location and distance of an object.


2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport

Fig 4


TIP: Check for the correct part number when replacing an object sensor. The side object sensors are different from the front and rear object sensors. The side object sensors have a longer range to detect empty parking spots. A DTC will set if the wrong sensor type is installed.


When the Automatic Parking Assist system is activated, the Front and Rear Parking Assist control module will begin measuring potential parking spots using the parallel parking assist sensor. Using the side object sensor, the Front and Rear Parking Assist control module will determine the appropriate time to begin turning the steering wheel to enter the parking spot and again when to turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction to fully enter the parking spot.


System Unavailable Message


A Park Assist Temporarily Unavailable message will be displayed on the DIC if one of the following conditions is present:

• The system is manually disabled using the park assist switch.

• A trailer, bicycle rack, aftermarket front license plate frame, a bent front license plate or other item is attached to the vehicle that is interfering with the park assist system field of view.

• The parking assist sensors are covered by snow, mud, dirt or ice.

• The vehicle bumper is damaged.

• There is excessive paint thickness on a replacement parking assist sensor.

• The parking assist sensors are disrupted by vibrations, like those caused by a large nearby vehicle or heavy equipment.


– Thanks to Brad Thacher and Jean Hart

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