The North American automaker has revealed the GM EN-V Concept today, which is a personal mobility vehicle that is address growing urbanization issues.
The GM EN-V Concept has been developed in three variants (Jiao, Miao and Xiao) with room for two occupants seating side by side, while power comes from two electric motors (3 kW each) that extract power from a lithium-ion battery pack.
With this powering system the GM EN-V Concept can reach a maximum speed of 25 mph and a 25 mile drive range. Also thanks to it’s drive-by-wire technology the GM EN-V Concept can operate autonomously or under manual control.
In fully autonomous mode, thanks o the vehicle-to-network connectivity, the GM EN-V Concept could take you to work for example, then drive itself back home for recharge and then get back to collect you when you finish your job.
Extensive information regarding the new GM EN-V Concept is available in the official press release below.
GM press release :
Shanghai – By 2030, urban areas will be home to more than 60
percent of the world’s 8 billion people.  This will put tremendous
pressure on a public infrastructure that is already struggling to meet
the growing demand for transportation and basic services.
General Motors and its strategic partner, Shanghai Automotive
Industry Corp. Group (SAIC), share a common vision for addressing the
need for personal mobility through a radical change in personal urban
transportation.  They are exploring several solutions for tomorrow’s
drivers.  Among the most promising is a new vehicle form called EN-V.
A Promising Solution
EN-V, which is short for Electric Networked-Vehicle, maintains the
core principle of personal mobility – freedom – while helping remove
the motor vehicle from the environmental debate and redefining design
leadership.  EN-V is a two-seat electric vehicle that was designed to
alleviate concerns surrounding traffic congestion, parking
availability, air quality and affordability for tomorrow’s cities.
Three EN-V models were unveiled today in Shanghai.  They represent
three different characteristics that emphasize the enjoyable nature of
future transportation: Jiao (Pride), Miao (Magic) and Xiao (Laugh). 
The concepts will be showcased from May 1 through October 31 at the
SAIC-GM Pavilion at World Expo 2010 Shanghai.  Shanghai is expected to
become one of the epicenters for the establishment of personal mobility
solutions for the future.
“EN-V reinvents the automobile by creating a new vehicle DNA through
the convergence of electrification and connectivity.  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,
President and Managing Director of the GM China Group.
Breakthrough Technology
EN-V’s platform has evolved from the platform of the Personal Urban
Mobility and Accessibility (P.U.M.A.) prototype that was developed by
Segway and debuted in April 2009.  Segway has worked collaboratively
with GM to develop and deliver multiple copies of the drivetrain
platform that seamlessly connect to and power the various EN-Vs.
EN-V is propelled by electric motors in each of its two driving-mode
wheels.  Dynamic stabilization technology empowers EN-V, giving it the
unique ability to carry two passengers and light cargo in a footprint
that’s about a third of a traditional vehicle.  It can literally “turn
on a dime” within its own operating envelope.  In addition, everything
in EN-V is drive-by-wire, supporting its ability to operate
autonomously or under manual control. The motors not only provide power
for acceleration, but also bring the vehicle to a stop.
Power for the motors is provided by lithium-ion batteries that
produce zero emissions. Recharging can occur from a conventional wall
outlet using standard household power, allowing EN-V to travel at least
40 kilometers on a single charge.  EN-V can also improve the efficiency
of the public electric infrastructure since the vehicle can communicate
with the electric grid to determine the best time to recharge based on
overall usage.
By combining the Global Positioning System (GPS) with
vehicle-to-vehicle communications and distance-sensing technologies,
the EN-V concept can be driven both manually and autonomously.
Its autonomous operating capability offers the promise of reducing
traffic congestion by allowing EN-V to automatically select the fastest
route based on real-time traffic information.  The concept also
leverages wireless communications to enable a “social network” that can
be used by drivers and occupants to communicate with friends or
business associates while on the go.
This combination of sensing technology, wireless communication and
GPS-based navigation establishes a technology foundation, pieces of
which could migrate from the EN-V concept and potentially lead the way
to future advanced vehicle safety systems.
The ability to communicate with other vehicles and with the
infrastructure could dramatically reduce the number of vehicle
accidents.  Using vehicle-based sensor and camera systems, EN-V can
“sense” what’s around it, allowing the vehicle to react quickly to
obstacles or changes in driving conditions. For example, if a
pedestrian steps out in front of the vehicle, EN-V will decelerate to a
slower and safer speed and stop sooner than today’s vehicles.
GM has been a leader in developing autonomous vehicle technology,
having worked alongside students and faculty at Carnegie Mellon
University in the U.S. city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This
collaboration created “The Boss” Chevrolet Tahoe, which brought
autonomous vehicle operation to life in 2007.   EN-V takes the lessons
learned in “The Boss” and offers mobility to people who could not
otherwise operate a vehicle.
“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 Vice President of GM Research and Development.  “The
building blocks that enable the autonomous capabilities found on the
EN-V concept such as lane departure warning, blind zone detection and
adaptive cruise control are being used in some GM vehicles on the road
EN-V has been designed for the speed and range of today’s urban
drivers.  It weighs less than 500 kilograms and is about 1.5 meters in
length.  By comparison, today’s typical automobile weighs more than
1,500 kilograms and is three times as long.  In addition, today’s
automobiles require more than 10 square meters of parking space and are
parked more than 90 percent of the time.  EN-V’s smaller size and
greater maneuverability mean the same parking lot can accommodate five
times as many EN-Vs as typical automobiles.
Smaller, Smarter Design
While EN-V leads the way in terms of efficiency and technology, it
also sets a new benchmark for vehicle design.  For its debut, GM had
design teams around the world provide their vision of what future
mobility will look like.  Xiao (Laugh) was designed by GM Holden’s
design team in Australia, while the look of Jiao (Pride) was penned by
designers at GM Europe and Miao (Magic) was designed at the General
Motors Advanced Design Studio in the U.S. state of California.
Each EN-V has a unique design theme to showcase the flexibility of
the propulsion platform.  The design gives each EN-V its own
personality, with a unique opening, elegant interior and innovative
color, lighting and seat technology.  Xiao offers a more lighthearted
appeal, with its “gumball blue” paint and nautical-inspired design. 
Miao takes most of its design cues from the consumer electronics
industry, as evidenced by its sleek, masculine looks.  Designers also
used Miao to display innovative lighting solutions, including extensive
use of LED accent lighting.   With its clean lines and bright
paintwork, Jiao takes its design influence from bullet trains and
Chinese opera masks.
"EN-V incorporates significant technology and material innovation,
which has given the design team a whole new world to explore,” said
Clay Dean, Director of Advanced Design for GM North America.  “Because
of the lightweight structures, materials and integrated controls, we
created unique surface forms not traditionally found in automotive
The body and canopy of EN-V are constructed from carbon fiber,
custom-tinted Lexan and acrylic, materials that are more commonly used
in race cars, military airplanes and spacecraft because of their
strength and lightweight characteristics.  The ability to work with
such innovative materials provided a learning opportunity for GM’s
design teams to study the feasibility of future traditional automotive
EN-V’s compact size makes it ideal for use in densely populated
cities thanks to its use of advanced safety and propulsion
technologies.  But good things come in small packages, as witnessed by
EN-V’s innovative interior design, which provides maximum visibility to
the world outside.  A simple interface for activating Wi-Fi-based
technologies keeps occupants connected to the outside world.
“The future of how we move around in urban areas like Shanghai can
combine the best of personal mobility and public transit.  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,’” said Taub.

Source: GM