Vehicle Technology

General Motors Forges Path to Electric Vehicle Adoption

Overview General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra presented the official opening keynote for CES® 2021, sharing GM’s strategy to advance mobility and make it personalized and customer-centric.

At CES® 25 years ago, General Motors (GM) introduced the world’s first affordable long range electric vehicle (EV) — the Chevrolet Volt. At the first-ever, all-digital CES 2021, GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra presented the official opening keynote, putting on display a new generation of EVs that are set to inspire drivers and accelerate the transition to a net zero carbon future.

“At General Motors, our vision for the future is a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion,” Barra said. “The key to unlock that vision is electrification. The electrification of global transportation can help reduce emissions and power the advanced systems and connectivity between vehicles and transportation infrastructure to help reduce congestion and crashes.”

The path toward this goal is encouraging the adoption of EVs and electrification. For GM, this means placing an emphasis on creating vehicles and in-car services that can personalize the driving experience and meet consumer desires.


Rethinking Electric Vehicle Design

Vehicle tech innovations from GM, including the Ultium battery and the Vehicle Intelligence Platform introduced during the keynote, allow the vehicle tech powerhouse to rethink the look and feel of EVs — providing more flexibility to customize what GM calls the personality of the vehicle. With modularity, GM can help each driver find an EV that fits their needs.

The GM design and engineering teams shared more details about three EVs putting this flexibility on display, debuting the new Cadillac Celestiq.

 
  • GMC Hummer EV – The GMC Hummer is the world’s first all-electric super truck. With one-pedal driving in Terrain Mode and the unique Watts to Freedom mode, this EV is created to celebrate performance and can provide the experience of going “zero to 60.”

    I’ve experienced the thrill of jumping out of a plane at 30,000 feet. In my opinion, this is better,” said GM Vice President of Global Design Michael Simcoe.
     
  • Cadillac Lyriq – The Lyriq is what GM calls artful integration of technology. With augmented reality, heads-up display and a customizable user interface leveraging Epic Games’ Unreal Engine used to make Fortnite, the Lyriq provides confidence and control opposed to the GMC Hummer’s promise of power.
     
  • Cadillac Celestiq – The Celestiq highlights individualized passenger experiences, showing off four quadrant smart glass for each occupant to curate their ambiance. Personalized entertainment also offers customized, comfortable experience.

“The layering of technologies creates sensory and emotional connections, which immerse the occupants in the distinct purpose and personality of that vehicle,” Simcoe said.


EVs Beyond the Road

“Electrification will be a catalyst for a range of new experiences, and that includes how autonomous vehicles will transform our daily experience,” Barra said.

Along with cars, GM expects that its vertical takeoff and landing drones concepts can revolutionize personal air travel and represent personal aerial luxury in the near future. But beyond transportation, even, Barra and her team see an opportunity where delivery and logistics could contribute to an all-electric future that better meets evolving consumer expectations and lifestyles.

GM’s BrightDrop business is one example. BrightDrop is a connected ecosystem of smart products that can reduce vehicles and environmental impact while meeting growing delivery needs, partnering with FedEx, for example, to increase safety and security of delivery while sending out more packages per day. Reliable logistics provided by solutions such as BrightDrop can help carriers ship vital items such as COVID-19 vaccine doses in a timely manner.

GM believes that this is an inflection point in history, and is the moment where the world can take the opportunity to transition to an all-electric future — one that is in fact better catered to each driver and consumer.

Attended CES 2021? All keynotes and sessions are available to watch on demand in the digital venue until Feb. 15. Sign in now and watch the full keynote from GM, including GM’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, and its work to encourage STEM education.

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