The automaker introduces its Electric Networked Vehicle prototypes, one third the size of a typical car, as a way to reduce big urban auto emissions and traffic congestion
As drivers await the arrival of General Motors’s much-anticipated Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid car later this year, GM unveiled an electric vehicle of an entirely different stripe on Wednesday at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. The company’s Electric Networked Vehicle (EN-V) is a mini electric vehicle built for two, unless you are using it to go shopping, in which case you might have room for yourself and a bag of groceries.
Working with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. Group (SAIC), GM designed the EN-V to meet the challenges of getting around major metropolises as urban populations swell. The EN-V resembles more an enclosed pedicab—minus the bike—than it does a car. In fact, the 1.5-meter-long vehicle is three times shorter than a typical car and weighs less than 500 kilograms, one third as much as most cars on the road today.
The EN-V relies on dynamic stabilization technology similar to that of the one-person Segway scooter to keep its balance, and can be operated autonomously or under manual control. In autonomous mode the EN-V is designed to use high-speed wireless connectivity and GPS navigation to automatically select the fastest route, based on real-time traffic conditions gleaned from the Web or some other networked source of traffic information.
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