- Daily Zen
General Motors Co. may have put America on wheels with the Pontiac and the Chevrolet, but now it hopes to give it wings with a flying Cadillac.
On Tuesday, General Motors Co. took the virtual stage at CES 2021 to present its vision for urban mobility. The automotive industry leader unveiled two futuristic flying Cadillac concepts, an autonomous vertical take-off and landing drone, and a family-friendly electric shuttle that carries passengers above streets and through the air.
“We are preparing for a world where advances in electrics and autonomous technology make personal air travel possible,” said Michael Simcoe, GM’s vice president of global design.
The concepts were presented in a video as part of a virtual keynote presentation by chief executive Mary Barra.
It was revealed last year that GM was exploring alternative transportation modes as aerial taxis.
The Detroit-based automaker doled out a handful of details on the flying car concept in the video.
“How do you have a more convenient and luxurious commute?” Simcoe asks in the video. “By taking to the skies.”
The first GM flying car concept was a Cadillac brand electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVOTL). The single-seat aircraft is capable of traveling autonomously up to 55 miles (90 kilometers) per hour from rooftop to rooftop. It’s equipped with a GM Ultium battery pack and an ultra-lightweight body with four pairs of rotors.
“eVOTL is a key to GM’s vision for a multimodal future,” Simcoe said.
The Cadillac flying car is meant for rapid travel and its design is in the works for a time when personal flying technology is possible.
The single-seater flying car didn’t come with many details as to how it could operate.
The Cadillac Personal Autonomous Vehicle (PAV) is a luxury pod meant to ferry passengers on their way to an event. It’s sort of like a driverless limousine with fore and aft sliding doors.
GM describes the PAV as a “mobile living room” designed for maximum comfort. The Cadillac shuttle can read passengers’ vital signs via biometric sensors in the seats to adjust heat, lighting, humidity, and even aromatherapy for an all-encompassing luxury travel experience. Passengers can use voice control and hand gestures to control the experience. There is even a way to control the interior camera to click group photos.
Both the sides of the Cadillac PAV are windowless, however, there is a panoramic glass roof that provides views of the sky above.
General Motors Co., like many other traditional automakers, is making massive infusions into new technologies in a desperate bid to dethrone gen-next competitors like Tesla. The electric carmaker’s market value has risen nearly 28% since the S&P Dow Jones Indices decided to add Tesla to the benchmark index from Dec. 21.
(Image Credit: GM Exhibit Zero)
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