How would you like an urban two-seater, two-wheeled electric vehicle that navigates on its own through traffic or takes you home late at night after one too many rounds at the bar? That's the concept behind the Electric Networked-Vehicle (EN-V) unveiled yesterday by General Motors in Shanghai, China.
The EN-V pedigree comes straight from the rather unattractive PUMA prototype developed jointly by GM and Segway. The newer concept still balances on just two wheels as it conveys future passengers to their destinations.
Control freaks can still operate the drive-by-wire EN-V, but it supposedly takes advantage of GPS, vehicle-to-vehicle communications and anti-crash sensing technologies to allow for automatic driving mode. Really, you can take your hands off the wheel and focus on chatting up the buddies via the vehicle's wireless communications that enable social networking.
The lithium-ion battery vehicle, co-sponsored by GM and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp, runs about 25 miles (40 km) on a single charge from being plugged into your average wall outlet -- good enough for urban commuters if not for road trips.
EN-V also received a facelift from GM designers around the world, so that the upgraded PUMA could actually look good on the set of Minority Report II: Cruise into the Future (OK, that sequel thankfully doesn't exist). The Xiao (Laugh) model incorporates "gumball blue" paint and a nautical design, the Miao (Magic) sports a sleek "masculine" look with LED accent lighting, and the Jiao (Pride) takes equal inspiration from Chinese bullet trains and opera masks.
Like most concept vehicle designs, this may likely never reach market mass production. But GM does seem more serious about this than Honda is about the concept trike, at least in terms of having drivable versions for the press sometime later this year. We say keep on keeping on, and don't forget to put those augmented-reality navigation displays into the windshields.
25 Miles to the charge? That's very inefficient. They should however install the self driving capabilities into newer models with more miles to the charge and lets not forget about that AR windshield. That would be something worth buying.
On roads in my town, with potholes and speed bumps, these urban vehicles would be piles of urban rubble inside of a month.
Is there a good reason not to add a third wheel for stability? Don't Segways fall over as soon as they run out of battery power?
Where do I put the child seat and weeks worth of grocers?
Ideas like this are seriously disconnected from reality, but it does help explain why GM has been losing boat loads of money over the past few decades.
It comes with a complimentary visectomy too right?
I would have nightmares after being coffin-ed into that rolling death-bubble while threading through truck traffic.
AND-- this kind of vehicle would be a death sentence to any Man who suddenly finds himself stuck with a woman who's got PMS and he BREATHES wrong.
Someone will surely commit MURDER in those things.
Send those Engineers BACK to School and forcibly enroll them into a Social Psychology Class!
This idea isn't seriously disconnected from reality, you are too connected to the past. If vehicles of this sort are programmable you could order your groceries online, loaded by an autonomous robot in a warehouse, and have them delivered to you without any human assistance. Also most people who live in truly urban environments don't buy a weeks worth of groceries, they go more often so even if it wasn't autonomous their habits could stay consistent. I have a feeling you're a suburban soccer mom and not actually the target market for such technology......yet.
This is the future of city transportation I guarantee it.
Our tax dollars hard at work..... in China, great. Maybe if you slant your eyes you can't tell what a POS this thing is.
I kinda like Honda's trike concept more than this.
I know it's just a concept, but so many recent concepts have this same problem. What is the ground clearance on these things? 3 inches? With the roads and bridges in this country (USA) getting worse and not better, we're all more likely to need a vehicle that can go over holes and rocks and bumps, instead of something that can only drive on a perfectly flat sheet of glass.
idea is right (NO HUMAN DRIVERS) but change the effin shape. maybe add a tv xbox and seats to lay back on
No drivers may be good for you, however I am not kin to cattle I choose to have my own destiny. As it is our government has exerted to much control. Notably they fund the research for these livestock corals. In case you are unaware we are already coralled into big cities so that we can be farmed for taxes. At any rate you wont catch me in an automated automobile until I am forced to. I wont even get a vehicle with on-star, because even that exerts more control than I like... trap you in your vehicle at whim of the operator turn off your vehicle etc, etc.
These are not tin foil hat points these are educated statements.
How lazy are people, just walk around the city. Or use a bike. Both cheap easy transportations.
Question: How would you like an urban two-seater, two-wheeled electric vehicle that navigates on its own through traffic or takes you home late at night after one too many rounds at the bar?
My Answer: Love It! I would love to own a cue compact car, but the only problem is, HOW TO FIT LUGGAGE AND SUITCASES IN THE CAR!?!? >_<
Good luck getting out of a traffic jam in one of these. They look like they would be of little avail.
Personally I am fascinated with this concept as a mode of transportation. Especially one that could be hung from a rail that would transport it to a destination.