Red with EN-V: GM shows off next generation of self-driving, Chevy-branded pod car in China

Red with envy GM shows off next generation of autonomous EN V pod car in Beijing

We have to hand it General Motors, the American automaker is not afraid to dream big when it comes to the cars of tomorrow. Back in December 2011 we had a chance to make the trip out to Detroit and check out GM’s EN-V electric pod car-of-the-future for ourselves. Needless to say we came away impressed, even if we were left a little less than optimistic we would ever seen one make the jump from functioning prototype to production model. Recently, however, at the Beijing Motor Show, GM was on hand to show off a rendering of the next-generation of the self-driving car – and guess what? It’s wearing a bowtie.

Branded with the iconic Chevrolet bowtie, the EN-V 2.0 “Mobility Concept Vehicle” will see the addition of two more wheels, bringing the total to four and preventing it from appearing  a little less out-of-this-world than it already does. The EN-V 2.0 is also set to feature more traditional vehicular amenities including in-vehicle climate control and larger personal storage space along with its fancy new digs. GM also notes that the autonomous pod car will even be able to brave the elements and drive in all-weather and city road conditions. However, one aspect that looks to go unaltered since the tiny pod car’s debut at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai is the electric motor — the latest EN-V is slated to retain the same EV powertrain with a similar 25-mile range featured in the initial concept.

With the original EN-V, and the planned 2.0 model, GM says it aiming to pioneer new automotive DNA based on the convergence of electrification and connectivity. What that essentially translates to are autonomous and “connected” vehicles where passengers and drivers –although drivers doesn’t seem all too appropriate here — will have access to wireless communications, including social networking via internet connectivity and telematics, all while on the go without having to actually “drive” the car.

“We’re very excited about EN-V 2.0 concept, which embodies the essence of its predecessor but was evolved into a more practical design for real-life use,” said Kevin Wale, President and Managing Director of the GM China Group in a statement. “The combination of sensing technology, wireless communication and GPS-based navigation establishes a technology foundation, pieces of which could potentially lead the way to the creation of future advanced vehicle systems.”

According to GM, the EN-V 2.0 could be available by 2020, but extensive pilot studies will be conducted in China prior to that.

Of course it’ going to be a long road before fully autonomous vehicles like the EN-V are buzzing about your local roadways, but GM remains dedicated nonetheless. And while semi-autonomous features appear poised to make their way slowly into the luxury segment of GM’s fleet before the end of the decade (a prime example being future Cadillac models), fully autonomous vehicles will likely be further off. Still, the EN-V is certainly an ambitious endeavor being undertaken by GM. We only hope it won’t be too long before we actually get to enjoy the next big step in automotive evolution.

Cars

Nikola previews $80K NZT off-road EV speedster with 590 horsepower

Nikola Motor is taking reservations for the NZT, a high-performance, all-electric off-highway vehicle (OHV). The $80,000 NZT has 590 horsepower, 775 foot-pounds of torque, and reaches 60 miles per hour in 4 seconds.
Cars

Mercedes-Benz gives the tech-savvy 2020 CLA more power at New York Auto Show

Mercedes-Benz introduced the second-generation CLA during CES 2019, and it will expand the lineup when it unveils a midrange model named CLA 35 at the upcoming 2019 New York Auto Show.
Cars

Drywall or kayaks? The 2020 Toyota Highlander is ready for your weekend plans

Toyota introduced the 2020 Highlander ahead of its public debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The fourth-generation Highlander is bigger than its predecessor, and it comes with more tech features, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Cars

2020 Cadillac CT5 luxury sedan gets turbocharged power, chiseled looks

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 proves the General Motors luxury brand still cares about sedans. Debuting at the 2019 New York Auto Show, it features Cadillac's Super Cruise tech and a lineup of turbocharged engines.
Cars

More tech and more space make the Mercedes-Benz GLS the S-Class of the SUV world

Mercedes-Benz introduced the second-generation GLS at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The company's biggest and most luxurious SUV gains more tech features in its quest to become the S-Class of the SUV world.
Cars

Would you buy the Tarok compact pickup truck? Volkswagen wants to know

The Volkswagen Tarok pickup truck concept will make its United States debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The truck first appeared at the 2018 Sao Paulo Auto Show, and VW wants to see what U.S. buyers think of it.
Cars

Sick of civilization? Volkswagen’s Atlas Basecamp concept lets you get away

Volkswagen revealed the Atlas Basecamp concept ahead of its debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. Built for overlanding, this family-hauler was upgraded jointly by Volkswagen and aftermarket manufacturers.
Cars

The 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo sheds weight, uses racing tricks to stay sharp

The 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo isn't dramatically different from the 2019 model, but Nissan made changes where it counts. The updated GT-R Nismo is lighter and offers better aerodynamic performance, according to Nissan.
Cars

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are 25 of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.
Cars

21 charged in Chicago carsharing heist; 100+ cars stolen, many still missing

More than 100 Mercedes-Benz vehicles belonging to carsharing service Car2Go were stolen in Chicago. Police are still working to recover all of the cars, which are equipped with GPS, and 21 people have been charged.
Cars

The VR goggles you wear to shoot alien ships is helping Magna design car parts

Canadian automotive supplier Magna has started using virtual reality in its research and development department. The technology helps engineers get a better view of what they're working on, whether it's an interior part or a powertrain.
Cars

From rugged wagons to hot sports cars, the 2019 NY Auto Show brought it all

From city cars to supercars, anything goes at the New York Auto Show. Automakers from all over the globe traveled to the 2019 show to unveil their newest concept cars and production models.
Cars

Toyota leads $1 billion investment in Uber’s self-driving tech division

In a move that has been a long time coming, Uber filed its S-1 documents, which sets the stage for the company to finally go public with an initial public offering. The company could be valued at more than $100 billion.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Samsung Galaxy Fold woes, zombie pigs, and more

Today's topics: Samsung Galaxy Fold, Facebook A.I. voice assistants, YouTube comes to Fire TV, facial recognition on airline flights, the SpaceX DART program, Yale's zombie pigs, and much more!