GM has teamed up with personal transporter specialists Segway to develop a new 'Electric Network Vehicle' concept which it thinks could well be the future of urban transport.
GM unveiled three Electric Networked Vehicles (or "urban mobility vehicles") built with help from Segway in Shanghai this month.
According to GM, 60 per cent of the world's population will be city-dwellers by 2030 with an estimated 2 billion cars on the roads by that time. So if you think today's traffic jams on the north circular are bad… you ain't seen nothing yet!
"The EN-V concept represents a major breakthrough in the research that GM has been doing to bring vehicle autonomy to life," said Alan Taub, global VP of research and development.
"The future of how we move around in urban areas like Shanghai can combine the best of personal mobility and public transit," Taub said.
"There is a better solution and it is called EN-V. 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'."
Jiao, Xiao, Miao
These latest two-seater concepts that GM has been showing off are one-sixth the size of a traditional car and made out of lightweight carbon fibre.
"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," said Kevin Wale, head of the GM China Group.
The red concept car is called Jiao (Pride), the blue one is Xiao (Laugh) and the black one is Miao (Magic) – apparently to "emphasise the enjoyable nature of future transportation."
The new EN-Vs will use GPS, distance-sensing technology and vehicle-to-vehicle communications to ease congestion and reduce the risk of accidents.
They can also drive themselves. So you can get hammered and let your car take you home instead of an unlicensed mini-cab driver.
Not that we would ever condone that.
Expect to see lots more on these from next month's World Expo 2010 that starts 01 May in Shanghai.
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