GM shows off vehicles intended for a 2030 "urban" setting

When we think of GM vehicles today, images of tire-shredding Camaros and Corvettes, mom-mobile Suburbans, sedate Malibus, or ballin' Escalades. However, in the future, it may not be feasible to drive such vehicles in highly congested urban city centers. As a result, GM has unveiled three new concept vehicles that aim to transport people with minimal waste, and with a small footprint.

The three Electric Networked-Vehicle (EN-V) concepts showcase what may be needed by the year 2030 when an estimated 60 percent of the world's population will be living in urban areas. The vehicles ride on two wheels and leverage technology gleaned from the folks at Segway.

The future of how we move around in urban areas like Shanghai can combine the best of personal mobility and public transit. There is a better solution and it is called EN-V,” said Alan Taub, Global VP of GM Research and Development. "It demonstrates that we have both the knowledge and the ability right now to create a way to move people that not only ensures a ‘better city’ but also offers people a ‘better life.’”

According to GM, the vehicles have electric motors in each wheel and are powered by lithium-ion batteries. The vehicles have enough battery capacity to travel 25 miles on a single charge. When the battery is depleted, the EN-V can be charged from a standard household outlet.

GM also notes that due to GPS and vehicle-to-vehicle communications, the vehicle an also travel to destinations autonomously.

The EN-V concept represents a major breakthrough in the research that GM has been doing to bring vehicle autonomy to life,” added Taub. “The building blocks that enable the autonomous capabilities found on the EN-V concept such as lane departure warning, blind zone detection and adaptive cruise control are being used in some GM vehicles on the road today.”

The EN-V weighs just 1,100 pounds, is just 59 inches long, and is constructed from carbon fiber and lexan.

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