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GM Unveils EN-V Concepts for Future Urban Mobility

Jiao
The Jiao EN-V model. Click to enlarge.

GM and its strategic partner Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. Group (SAIC) unveiled three models of a concept new vehicle form called EN-V, short for Electric Networked-Vehicle. EN-V is a two-seat electric vehicle designed to alleviate concerns surrounding traffic congestion, parking availability, air quality and affordability for tomorrow’s cities. It is an evolution from the platform of the Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility (P.U.M.A.) prototype that was developed by GM and Segway and which made its debut in April 2009. (Earlier post.)

The three EN-V models unveiled in Shanghai represent three different characteristics that emphasize the nature of future transportation: Jiao (Pride), Miao (Magic) and Xiao (Laugh). The concepts will be showcased from 1 May through 31 October at the SAIC-GM Pavilion at World Expo 2010 Shanghai. Shanghai is expected to become one of the epicenters for the establishment of personal mobility solutions for the future, according to GM.

EN-V Quick Specs
  • Top speed: 40 km/h (25 mph)
  • Range: 40 km (25 miles)
  • Energy consumption: 70 Wh/km (125 Wh/mile)
  • Turning radius: 1.74M wall-to-wall diameter
  • Motor: Brushless DC
  • Output: 440 N·m torque and 18 kW power
  • Battery: Li-ion phosphate (air-cooled)
  • Battery Capacity: 3.2 kWh
  • Battery output: 5 kW
  • Segway has worked collaboratively with GM to develop and deliver multiple copies of the drivetrain platform that seamlessly connect to and power the various EN-Vs. EN-V is propelled by electric motors in each of its two driving-mode wheels. Dynamic stabilization technology empowers EN-V, giving it the unique ability to carry two passengers and light cargo in a footprint that’s about a third of a traditional vehicle. It can literally “turn on a dime” within its own operating envelope.

    In addition, everything in EN-V is drive-by-wire, supporting its ability to operate autonomously or under manual control. The motors not only provide power for acceleration, but also bring the vehicle to a stop.

    Xiao
    The Xiao EN-V model. Click to enlarge.

    Power for the motors is provided by lithium-ion batteries that produce zero emissions. Recharging can occur from a conventional wall outlet using standard household power, allowing EN-V to travel at least 40 kilometers (25 miles) on a single charge. EN-V can also improve the efficiency of the public electric infrastructure since the vehicle can communicate with the electric grid to determine the best time to recharge based on overall usage.

    EN-V has been designed for the speed and range of today’s urban drivers. It weighs less than 500 kilograms and is about 1.5 meters in length. By comparison, today’s typical automobile weighs more than 1,500 kilograms and is three times as long. In addition, today’s automobiles require more than 10 square meters of parking space and are parked more than 90% of the time. EN-V’s smaller size and greater maneuverability mean the same parking lot can accommodate five times as many EN-Vs as typical automobiles.

    Miao
    The Miao EN-V model. Click to enlarge.

    Autonomous operation. By combining the Global Positioning System (GPS) with vehicle-to-vehicle communications and distance-sensing technologies, the EN-V concept can be driven both manually and autonomously.

    Its autonomous operating capability offers the promise of reducing traffic congestion by allowing EN-V to automatically select the fastest route based on real-time traffic information. The concept also leverages wireless communications to enable a “social network” that can be used by drivers and occupants to communicate with friends or business associates while on the go.

    This combination of sensing technology, wireless communication and GPS-based navigation establishes a technology foundation, pieces of which could migrate from the EN-V concept and potentially lead the way to future advanced vehicle safety systems.

    The ability to communicate with other vehicles and with the infrastructure could significantly reduce the number of vehicle accidents. Using vehicle-based sensor and camera systems, EN-V can “sense” what’s around it, allowing the vehicle to react quickly to obstacles or changes in driving conditions. For example, if a pedestrian steps out in front of the vehicle, EN-V will decelerate to a slower and safer speed and stop sooner than today’s vehicles.

    “The EN-V concept represents a major breakthrough in the research that GM has been doing to bring vehicle autonomy to life. 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.””
    —Alan Taub, Global Vice President of GM Research and Development

    GM has been a leader in developing autonomous vehicle technology, having worked alongside students and faculty at Carnegie Mellon University in the US city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This collaboration created “The Boss” Chevrolet Tahoe, which brought autonomous vehicle operation to life in 2007. EN-V takes the lessons learned in “The Boss” and offers mobility to people who could not otherwise operate a vehicle.

    Smaller, smarter design. For EN-V’s debut, GM had design teams around the world provide their vision of what future mobility will look like. Xiao (Laugh) was designed by GM Holden’s design team in Australia, while the look of Jiao (Pride) was penned by designers at GM Europe and Miao (Magic) was designed at the General Motors Advanced Design Studio in the US state of California.

    Each EN-V has a unique design theme to showcase the flexibility of the propulsion platform. The design gives each EN-V its own personality, with a unique opening, interior and color, lighting and seat technology. Xiao offers a more lighthearted appeal, with its “gumball blue” paint and nautical-inspired design. Miao takes most of its design cues from the consumer electronics industry, as evidenced by its sleek looks. Designers also used Miao to display innovative lighting solutions, including extensive use of LED accent lighting. With its clean lines and bright paintwork, Jiao takes its design influence from bullet trains and Chinese opera masks.

    EN-V incorporates significant technology and material innovation, which has given the design team a whole new world to explore. Because of the lightweight structures, materials and integrated controls, we created unique surface forms not traditionally found in automotive applications.

    —Clay Dean, Director of Advanced Design for GM North America

    The body and canopy of EN-V are constructed from carbon fiber, custom-tinted Lexan and acrylic, materials that are more commonly used in race cars, military airplanes and spacecraft because of their strength and lightweight characteristics. The ability to work with such innovative materials provided a learning opportunity for GM’s design teams to study the feasibility of future traditional automotive applications.

    Urban corridors. By 2030, urban areas will be home to more than 60% of the world’s 8 billion people. This will put tremendous pressure on a public infrastructure that is already struggling to meet the growing demand for transportation and basic services.

    The recently released UN-HABITAT report “State of the World Cities 2010/2011: Bridging the Urban Divide”, also finds that as cities push beyond their original boundaries some are merging into new massive conurbations known as mega-regions, urban corridors and city-regions. These urban configurations are becoming the new engines of global and regional economies, even as they create further paths of regional divisions, according to the report.

    Today’s mega-regions are absorbing even larger populations than mega- or meta-cities, (which UN-HABITAT defines as hosting upward of 20 million residents), and their economic output is enormous. Examples cited in the report include:

    • Hong Kong-Shenzen-Guangzhou mega-region, 120 million people
    • Nagoya-Osaka-Kyoto-Kobe, likely to hold 60 million by 2015
    • São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro mega-region, 43 million people

    GM is the joint global automobile partner of World Expo 2010 Shanghai along with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. Group (SAIC).

    Resources

    Comments

    ejj

    Why in the h e l l is this bankrupt, government-run, taxpayer teet sucking company spending money on this stupidity? Is this a joke?

    dursun

    Xiao out loud!!
    I bet GM has a SUV version for the US market.

    The Goracle

    .

    As soon as I see Al Gore and his family using these on a regular basis I'll consider one. Unfortunately, Al Gore's personal carbon footprint has ballooned to roughly the size of King Kong's. Al will have to shed 100+ pounds in order to fit into one of these. In the mean time Al Gore, et al, will continue to jet around the world in private jets, lambasting working people for having carbon footprints on a scale not noticeable when compared to his.

    Praise be to Algore! Repent of your energy use.

    .

    SJC

    If one person uses more energy than I do, but they are in a group that is 0.1% of the population, it does not make much difference. Congress members and CEOs jet all over, but there are only a few thousand of them not 100 million. If 100 million use 10% more, but 0.1% use twice as much, the 100 million is where we should be focusing, not obsessing about ideological rants.

    joewilder

    I like it. Though it sounds like with all the expensive materials it will be make with, it will cost more than I want to spend on one. I'd be willing to go about $3500 for something like that, but it will probably cost $15,000. Heck yeah, why haul around enough space for 5 people when you're going somewhere by yourself?

    HealthyBreeze

    You've heard of a horseless carriage? This is a runnerless rickshaw.

    If you've ever been to Amsterdam, Tokyo, Shanghai, or other high-density areas, this Segway-for-2-with-a-shell starts to make some sense for some buyers...if they can get the price down to that of a big motorcycle, which is what it is competing with.

    My problem with Segway has always been that it is a very expensive solution for the problem it solves...oh, and the risk of faceplants.

    The growth market for doing things in new ways are the rapidly changing metroplexes in China...but they will NOT pay Segway premiums.

    HarveyD

    One could always make it look much bigger, expensive and safer (with 24+ inch thick attached ballons on all sides) for the USA larger vehicle market. With various shape ballons you could even make it look like a Hummer monsters. Very thick air or foam ballons could make it ultra safe and almost collison proof.

    With rounded attached ballons it could roll down the hills, float on water, bounce over obstacles if you dont get air sick.

    The Goracle

    .

    SJC said: "... obsessing about ideological rants."

    Please pont out where, exactly anything ideological was stated. Al Gore happens to be one of the preeminent Globalwarmists, pushing for third world conditions in developed countries. All, of course, while refusing to live the lifestyle that he wants forced onto others.

    Maybe you were claiming that your post was an "ideological rant." Much like the Globalwarmist who recently blamed Climate Change® on "Bush." Climate Change® is obviously about politics, not science, when is comes to the Globalwarmist and their religion.

    .

    HealthyBreeze

    @ The Goracle,

    Did you ever know someone who told the same joke over and over and over and over?

    Did you ever talk politics with someone who really only had one point that they wanted to make repeatedly, no matter what the conversation was actually about?

    Meanwhile, you might look at Paul Krugman's March 18th post (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/page/2/) where he notes that, snowy winter or not, 2010 so far has been warmer than 2005 to this point, and 2005 was the warmest year on record.

    The Goracle

    .

    Did you ever know someone who told the same joke over and over and over and over?

    Why, yes!!! The joke that humans are causing the Earth to warm, out of control, by driving around in cars has become the most tiresome joke of all!

    Did you ever talk politics with someone who really only had one point that they wanted to make repeatedly, no matter what the conversation was actually about?

    Yes again! Have a conversation with **any** Globalwarmist and it quickly turns into "I hate you," "you're stoopid,""shut up," "you're an evil right winger," etc. Yes, the Globalwarmist quickly tries to turn it into a political discussion rather than discussing science. Thanks for the reminders!

    By the way, this Paul Krugman fellow that you decided to bring into your post (completely off topic of course) - is he the same Paul Krugman who was a paid adviser to the evil Enron company that stole the retirement funds from thousands of people?

    .

    mahonj

    The Chines have already solved this problem with 100 M electric bikes.
    And no subsidies for them.

    SJC

    Goracle,

    Give it a rest, people obsessed are people in need of mental help. This is a site for discussing Green Cars, not ranting about Al Gore obsessively with a political bias.

    Info VeloSmartt

    Perhaps this might do the trick. Options for one person or two. Al Gore certification optional.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kc6b94NdS6s
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cE3KLphD73c

    The Goracle

    .
    SJC,

    Give it a rest, people obsessed are people in need of mental help. This is a site for discussing Green Cars, not ranting about me, pretending that I have an obsessive political bias while you proudly display your own.

    Tell me, if you own/owned a car, does/did your car get better than 50 mpg highway and use no petroleum for fuel? Or are you less of a Green Car person than me? Just a person obsessed with the weather?

    .

    SJC

    You obvious don't get it and will continue to pollute this fine site.

    The Goracle

    .

    Shame on you SJC.

    .

    Mannstein

    I'm with the Goracle.

    Al Gore should lead by example. Unfortunately he is too fat to fit into a standard sized seat in coach on a commercial jet. Global warming is caused by fat people according to a latest study. My advice to Al is he shed some pounds so he could ride in coach with the rest of us. Maybe then he would regain some credibility.

    As for global warming the recent eruption of a volcano in southern Iceland will trigger a much larger volcano that will put so much particulates into the air to cause global cooling. That should make all the global warmists take a deep breath. Pun intended.

    As for this latest EN-V Schnapps idea vehicle why not just redesign the golf cart. It would be a hell of a lot cheaper.

    SJC

    Mannstein,

    Some people need to lose weight from their fat heads, but people don't go around telling them to do that, they would never listen anyway.

    ToppaTom

    ANOTHER silly (but mostly fun and harmless) PR stunt.

    It probably does not really cost to much to work up these models and maybe this will divert some of the more gullible from investing in Scuderi.

    Unfortunately members of congress will soon think auto makers should be forced to make these and sell them for $1k (free if you are union or unemployed).

    Not a totally impossible vehicle type but not if it is built to a cost-is-no-object specification not likely to match the massive sales of the Segway.

    No it likely won’t cost only $3500, nowhere near, but probably would not sell if it did.

    As for the attitude that what one person or 0.1% of the population does, is of little consequence; that is typical of today’s “look-out-for-number-one mentality.

    Every choice, just like every vote, is important.

    sulleny

    A text book case of why VR worlds are failing left and right... so far from believability as to be pathetic. The design though, would make a reasonably item for skeet shooting.

    ToppaTom

    But who would they get to drive them on the skeet range ?

    - umm
    - never mind.

    Mannstein

    SJC

    The higher the weight the more fuel a jet uses to stay aloft. If you care about the environment, and want to fly then lose weight. Who knows you might even start a whole new movement.

    sulleny

    No driving. Catapult. "Pull!"

    sulleny

    No driving. Catapult. "Pull!"

    Ziv

    Forget skeet, no challenge! I am thinking sporting clays. Think blue xiao popping out from behind the trees, zipping along 30 yards off, quartering shot...
    Nah, too easy. Now a springing teal with a bright red jiao getting flung straight up in the air, hit it at the apex, and then on the way down... That could be fun!
    Pull!

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