GM shows off concept for an electric, single-seat VTOL aircraft at CES

Polycount

Posts: 2,850   +575
Staff member
In brief: GM went all-out at this year's annual CES tech event. Instead of showing off an incrementally-improved line of cars, the company aimed high. It revealed an all-new 'Ultium' EV battery platform, as well as two exciting new vehicle concepts: a single-occupant VTOL, and an autonomous van with a comfort-focused interior.

GM claims its Ultium batteries will have the "highest nickel and lowest cobalt" content and will come in "large-format pouch cells."

Theoretically, this design approach should allow the cells to be stacked vertically or horizontally in an EV, paving the way for better-optimized battery layouts and reducing the design burden for vehicle engineers.

Alongside the Ultium platform, as we said before, GM teased two other vehicles, both of which boast rather futuristic -- and decidedly unrealistic -- designs. First up is the Cadillac VTOL, a "personal drone" that can travel from rooftop to rooftop at speeds of up to 56mph.

GM says this drone would prevent you from contributing to ground traffic, while also freeing up time for you to do "what you want." Clearly, such a vehicle would be targeted at the rich (in true cyberpunk fashion), but it's still a pretty cool idea.

And then there's something a little more down-to-earth: the Cadillac Personal Autonomous Vehicle. GM envisions a "mobile living room" interior designed for comfort and an "enhanced customer experience," while featuring a fully AI-controlled, biometric-based user interface. In other words, the vehicle could feature your own Jarvis.

Voice control would adjust things like lighting, "scent," and air humidity, letting riders tune their riding experience to their specific tastes.

Since these vehicles were revealed as vague concepts at CES, they are almost certainly not undergoing active development at GM HQ. Perhaps that will change in 10 or 15 years, but for now, they should be viewed as little more than cool ideas for the future -- the far future.

Permalink to story.

 

psycros

Posts: 3,458   +4,030
This is why these tech trade shows are borderline useless these day: nothing but stupid pipe dreams and very little "just around the corner" products. Even when they do present something real its usually pointless excess targeted at the people with more dollars than sense.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,014   +6,783
"Targeted for the rich ....."

Hoping in 10-15 years there will be any rich enough to afford them? What's the minimum number needed to be sold to break even? Sounds like GM is rolling the dice on this one!
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 264   +388
Considering most of GM's lineup that isn't powered by push rod v8's are largely crap compared to even mediocre brands like Nissan. We can only expect them to do mostly the same. Their Cadillac brand is a joke compared to any other luxury brand.

GM should spend more money making their lineup more appealing. Nearly everything they sell is 6-10th best option for their category. Not only that but if you look at their reliability for the last decade GM has been making Chrysler look good. 2.4EcoTec's grenading before the factory warranty up saved a lot of people large repair bills. 3.6l timing chain problems on the other hand nearly always happen after the warranty. There is a reason friends don't let friends buy GM.

The Volt was nice, too bad they didn't continue with that. The Bolt Sucks.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,775   +5,523
Most to all of what you see in "electric flying cars", aren't anything more than your average Kick Starter scam.

I'm thinking the usual result is spending all the investor's money, followed by some elaborate apology and excuse, as to why it never seems to workout. Oh, and don't forget the inevitable bankruptcy proceedings
 

3volv3d

Posts: 325   +144
The flying chair looks like a great wheelchair. Who needs ramps?

Why am I reading that in Doc Browns voice. "Ramps? Where we're going we don't need ramps! ... Nurse I'll be back in 10 for my sponge bath"

-"Mr Brown you know you are not allowed of the grounds and your license for that thing has been revoked after you went thru that petshot window last month"
 

Ravey

Posts: 297   +127
Yep, you can tell they are just concept, there is no way that minivan in the top photo would make it to the roads. I thought all cars an vans needed some kind of an angled crumple zone? One to protect the driver and front passenger in case of a crash and two to reduce the impact of any person hit by the vehicle?

Surely getting hit by a car or van with a vertical front would increase the risk of death even at 30mph right?
 

Hardware Geek

Posts: 352   +368
Considering most of GM's lineup that isn't powered by push rod v8's are largely crap compared to even mediocre brands like Nissan. We can only expect them to do mostly the same. Their Cadillac brand is a joke compared to any other luxury brand.

GM should spend more money making their lineup more appealing. Nearly everything they sell is 6-10th best option for their category. Not only that but if you look at their reliability for the last decade GM has been making Chrysler look good. 2.4EcoTec's grenading before the factory warranty up saved a lot of people large repair bills. 3.6l timing chain problems on the other hand nearly always happen after the warranty. There is a reason friends don't let friends buy GM.

The Volt was nice, too bad they didn't continue with that. The Bolt Sucks.
I gave up on GM vehicles back when the video was blowing lower intake manifold gaskets. 2k to get fixed and 20k miles later, it did the same thing. Haven't seen anything with decent longevity from them in quite a while.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,775   +5,523
Surely getting hit by a car or van with a vertical front would increase the risk of death even at 30mph right?
This is a long standing joke in the trucking industry, as it relates to Cab over engine designs, "you're always first at the scene of the accident".

With that said, I think that the most outspoken advocates of self driving vehicles for the sake of safety, would be further back in the interior, laying on the floor in the fetal position, sucking their thumbs, and listening to womb sounds on the radio
 

Ravey

Posts: 297   +127
This is a long standing joke in the trucking industry, as it relates to Cab over engine designs, "you're always first at the scene of the accident".

With that said, I think that the most outspoken advocates of self driving vehicles for the sake of safety, would be further back in the interior, laying on the floor in the fetal position, sucking their thumbs, and listening to womb sounds on the radio

**ahem** I believe the term is "Fully Autonomous Vehicle" lol..

I think I probably do fall into the thumb sucking bracket if I'm honest. I can see a lot of benefit for self driving cars, particularly on motorways where in the uk motorway driving still isnt part of the standard test. (although to note, if you pay attention to your instructor while learning, additional lessons shouldn't be needed lol. I'm getting off point. Even though I'm looking forward to self driving cars, I love to drive and I still want to be able to have a choice to drive my own car if I want to.