Could this be the car of the future? I am not sure what G.M. is thinking, but their thoughts seem to be this miniature car could be the wave of the future. The G.M. EN-V announced at CES 2011 has had mixed reviews. This is a very futuristic car: compact, mobile and mother earth friendly. I could easily see this car being needed in the distant future, but this car lacks ‘safety’ in a world with 2+ ton beasts cruising on the freeways. The EN-V would be attractive in retirement neighborhoods with an added golf bag rack in the rear. In the next 100 years this car may seem realistic, but for now GM should focus on changes for the near future, to help balance our current situations with soaring gasoline prices and global warming.
According to G.M., by 2030 more than 60 percent of the world’s population will reside in urban environments. Public transportation will not be able to meet the demands of this growing populace, the automaker said.
“EN-V reinvents the automobile by creating a new vehicle DNA through the convergence of electrification and connectivity,” said Kevin Wale, president and managing director of the G.M. China Group. “It provides an ideal solution for urban mobility that enables future driving to be free from petroleum and emissions, free from congestion and accidents, and more fun and fashionable than ever before.”
The EN-V runs on two electric motors, one in each “driving” wheel. The motors are powered by lithium-ion phosphate batteries, which can be recharged via a standard wall outlet. The motors also provide “braking” for the vehicle, which is completely drive-by-wire and can be controlled manually or autonomously. In autonomous mode, the EN-V uses many of the advanced features that G.M. and Segway talked about last year, including vehicle-to-vehicle communications, GPS and distance sensing technologies.
By communicating with its surroundings, G.M. said, the EN-V could react quickly to changing driving conditions and significantly reduce the number accidents. G.M. said the EN-V could slow down and stop sooner than current vehicles for pedestrians and other obstacles that happen upon its path.
No speed demon, the diminutive EN-V — a sixth the size of a standard passenger car — has a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour and a 25-mile range. G.M. said the car would work well in large metro areas, where half of all trips are three miles or less and 28 percent are one mile or less. In cities, more than 85 percent of vehicles have only one occupant, the company said.
Chris Borroni-Bird, director of advanced vehicle concepts at G.M., called the EN-V “a smarter, cleaner way of moving around” in cities. He said the vehicle, which has a very tight turning radius, addresses congestion issues by taking up little space and using connectivity to route drivers around traffic jams.
Mr. Borroni-Bird said the EN-V showcased “what might be possible by 2030.” The EN-V will have its “official” debut at the S.A.I.C-G.M. pavilion at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai in May. There are three separate EN-V body designs, but with similar underpinnings. Each was designed by a different G.M, design team. Xiao, which means “laugh” in Chinese, was designed by G.M. Holden’s design team in Australia; Jiao (“pride”) was designed by G.M. Europe; and Maio (“magic”) was designed at G.M.’s Advanced Design Studio in California.
Source: New York Times
Category: Tech News
About the Author (Author Profile)
Born In Colorado a former Major League Strength and Conditioning Coach for baseball, Sean has always been drawn towards technology. This hobby lead Sean to become a Site Advisor for BBhybrids.net where he helped develop a dedicated team of moderators and help support staff. With his knowledge he Co-Created driphter.com where he too started to build hybrids by manipulating .cod files through java. Looking to change careers Sean is studying to become Cisco Certified (CCNA) and work his way into the world’s growing network.