General Motors has been pro-active in preparing for the future of transport by looking into new trends and technologies. These steps have become necessary because of the changing market landscape for cars and the needs of buyers today. GM also faces tough competition from other auto makers who have stepped up and are currently developing new technologies in a bid to capture a bigger slice of the market. Here are a few trends that GM has focused on to ensure that their upcoming vehicles will be ahead of the curve.
This technology has been taking leaps and bounds in evolution because of the increased interest for autonomous tech. GM has been developing their self-driving programme known as Cruise Automation which aims to create a driverless car sometime in the near future. Its current iteration is already being used on their high-end Cadillacs albeit in a limited capacity.
Alternative fuels and electrics
Two years ago, GM announced that it is planning to go full electric with all its vehicles by 2023. In the meantime, they are currently developing hydrogen fuel cells which will be the fuel for their electric vehicles. This initiative falls in line with their vision for zero emissions, zero crashes, and zero congestion of public roads.
The majority of today’s youth are no longer interested in buying a car but are more into ride-sharing using apps like Uber or Lyft. This is evidenced by the declining trend of driver’s license ownership among the younger demographic. GM had partnered with Lyft to help them develop their self-driving car network. This also helps GM find a new niche in which they can market their vehicles.
New building materials
GM has been studying using new lightweight materials like carbon fiber or carbon-nano composite materials to create lighter yet more durable vehicles. This would solve the problem of complying with stricter emissions standards that are being imposed on auto makers. A lighter car would mean a smaller engine thus the reduction in emissions.
With the development of autonomous technologies comes the need to have increased safety on the roads. One way GM is approaching this is by developing networked vehicles that communicate with each other and with a city’s network to provide real-time situational awareness of the traffic conditions. GM hopes that vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications will soon be integrated into their future models.
This technology is still in its early days for automotive purposes, but more practical applications have been found for this method of production. GM has partnered with Autodesk, Inc. to explore the potential of producing lightweight 3D components. This could dramatically reduce research and development of new car components and materials and save costs for the company. It could also usher the age of easily replaceable parts for older models no longer in production.
Accessibility for an aging population
Cars of the future will become easier to use and be more accommodating for mobility-challenged customers. With the culmination of advanced technologies that make future GM models virtually drive itself in most instances, new designs and materials that make cars more comfortable and easier to manufacture, and modern safety features that will protect the passenger in any situation, it seems likely that GM cars and trucks will remain relevant for both the young and old generations.
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