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Edmunds.com says a Cadillac SRX test vehicle now offers a 'preview' of how General Motors envisions the future of self-driving cars. Instead of being loaded with bulky equipment, the SRX looks like something a consumer would see on a showroom floor. GM says sensors are integrated seamlessly into the body of the SRX.

Details of the car were provided as part of an announcement about GM and Carnegie Mellon University renewing a five-year agreement "to continue developing technologies that could allow future production vehicles to drive autonomously."

The automaker says that seamless integration of advanced sensors will be a "key differentiator" between current test vehicles and "production-viable automated vehicles."

Some of the building blocks for automated vehicles can be found on the 2014 Cadillac CTS, XTS and ATS as part of the optional Driver Assist package. The package includes adaptive cruise control and automatic braking.

GM says the Cadillac SRX test vehicle goes "beyond Boss," a reference to an autonomous Chevrolet Tahoe named for GM R&D founder Charles F. "Boss" Kettering. Boss was clearly identifiable as an experimental vehicle.

Automakers are racing to be among the first to roll out autonomous cars. Ford recently previewed a self-driving Ford Fusion Hybrid that is undergoing testing.

Edmunds says: The takeaway here is that any self-driving Cadillac — or other GM vehicle — won't look like a science project. Click here to see more: 2014 Cadillac SRX.