Oct 17

EN-V: Not your grandfather’s Chevy

 

If you thought last week’s Spark EV announcement was a move toward urban density solutions, you would be correct, but Chevrolet has not finished downsizing its electric mobility offerings.

Also announced last week was the Chevrolet-badged second generation of the EN-V Concept.

According to Chris Perry, vice president, global Chevrolet marketing and strategy, the bowtie insignia is significant for the EN-V – which is short for Electric Networked-Vehicle.

“For 100 years, the Chevrolet brand has been focused on making advanced technology that improves customers’ lives accessible and affordable, and the Chevrolet EN-V will continue that tradition,” said Perry. “By 2030, more than 60 percent of the world’s 8 billion people will live in urban areas. The Chevrolet EN-V represents a possible solution for global customers living in markets where alternative transportation solutions are needed.”


2011 Concept Chevrolet EN-V.

Urban crawl

The world population is presently estimated at 7 billion. In 2008 it was 6.7 billion, and that was when the Population Reference Bureau said for the first time 50 percent of the world’s population lived in urban areas. At the time, more than 400 cities had over 1 million people and 19 had over 10 million. Developed nations were about 74-percent urban, while less-developed were about 44-percent urban – and expected to grow the fastest.

In projecting 8 billion people in 2030, GM is saying by the time a child born today graduates high school, 4.8 billion could be crammed into urban areas – and GM will be ready.

Assuming it does happen, resultant urban/suburban sprawl may be better navigated by vehicles that look like reality mimicking art – such as the cartoon series, The Jetsons – in which the EN-V would have looked right at home.


The generation 1 Xiao (“laugh”) was designed by GM Holden Design Studio in Australia and intended to appear friendly.

The 1,100-pound pod balanced on two side-by-side wheels comes in three versions and stays upright thanks to PUMA (Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility) gyroscopic technology developed by Segway.

The EN-V offers seating for two, and every comfort and safety feature one would expect, and then some.

By combining vehicle-to-vehicle communications and distance-sensing technologies – including short-range radio, GPS, optical sensors, ultrasonic sensors and doppler radars – the carbon fiber-, Lexan- and acrylic-shelled EN-V can be driven manually or autonomously.

In other words, similar to what Google is doing in its human-free driving experiments, the EN-V can operate without a conscious driver at the controls.

Therefore, unlike carnival bumper cars, this little unit is designed not to crash into anything and GM says it would enable lines of tailgating vehicles “platooning” toward their destinations.


Extreme tailgating, which society is already edging toward, can be feasible through electronics, GM says.

Its proximity sensors and crash avoidance system would thus make safe today’s tendency among American drivers who engage in the unsafe, arguably self-centered and pushy, and basically illegal practice of following too closely.

The EN-V’s capabilities could also be the perfect solution for today’s mentally absent drivers who text, groom, feed the kids, watch videos/infotainment, or otherwise conduct their own “autonomous” driving experiments from behind the wheel.

Thus, it could be a cure for what the U.S. Department of Transportation has been holding summits for the past couple of years – the newly diagnosed distracted driving “epidemic,” not to mention old fashioned incompetent drivers behind the wheel.

Of course these are our observations.

GM’s spin is naturally only upbeat, and avoids unpleasant realities it no doubt is mindful of, but probably prefers to sidestep due in part to political correctness and marketing principles that dictate accentuating the positive while not insulting one’s constituency.

The company says “autonomous mode” offers mobility to people who may not otherwise be able to operate a vehicle.

Presumably this could include the blind, handicapped, old and infirm, or even children – and to be sure, these could be positive developments.


The generation 1 Jiao (“pride”), designed by GM Europe, was designed to appear chic and stylish.

GM also says the EN-V is a creative “leveraging” of wireless communications, enabling drivers and occupants to communicate hands-free with friends or business associates while on the go.

So, the EN-V will be a rolling phone booth, cyber cafe or office all in one. And do you think today’s infotainment like Cadillac’s new Cue system is impressive? GM has much more in store.

One could also conceivably put the thing on auto pilot and attempt to catch a little shuteye on the way to work.

The all-electric vehicle presently covers 25 miles on a charge to its lithium-ion battery, is capable of a maximum speed of 25 mph, and GM says this is enough for most urban commutes.

GM further makes a case for the EN-V by saying technology being developed with it could be incorporated into regular vehicles to facilitate environmentally sound and fool-proof driving.

“This technology platform of electric propulsion, sensors, wireless communications and GPS-based navigation is likely to migrate from the EN-V concept to other automobiles and could lead the way to safer, cleaner vehicles in the future,” said Chris Borroni-Bird, GM’s director of Advanced Technology Vehicle Concepts.


The generation 1 Miao (“magic”), created by GM Advanced Design in California is intended to appear mysterious and high-tech.

Borroni-Bird says GM will be busy in the U.S. and around the world exploring locations for potential EN-V pilot programs.

The vehicle has already been embraced by some in China, where GM says generation 1 was “one of the stars of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.”

In April, GM and the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City Investment and Development Co. Ltd. (SSTEC) signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on integrating the next-generation EN-V into the Tianjin Eco-City from a power, communications and physical infrastructure perspective.

A new expression of ‘freedom’

America was founded on principles of freedom, and this is a watchword GM uses to explain its intentions to develop optionally brain-free driving for the world.

We find it a bit ironic to speak of freedom when the vehicle does most or all of the thinking for you, but GM’s interpretation is understood.


Movie makers Steven Spielberg or James Cameron have nothing on GM. What Hollywood can only dream of, GM is preparing to build.

In the U.S., the EN-V could conceivably be used in office parks, campuses, and other such environments.

In China, the experimental Tianjin Eco-City is supposed to create lanes where EN-Vs will be able to operate, and such environments are really what would be needed for mass usage.

Today in America, it would not be legal for public roadways, but what if the futurists are right? If so, vehicles like this may in time be given space to traverse densely crowded regions, and could prove more practical than vehicles like the Chevy Volt.

GM

This entry was posted on Monday, October 17th, 2011 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 52


  1. 1
    Roy_H

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (7:34 am)

    I can’t believe there is a market for this thing. I thought is was an enclosed Segway designed for sidewalks and even go inside shopping malls etc. Now I find out it is intended to go on roads. Is this fully safety rated to survive an impact with a truck? I will never believe that a NEV style vehicle is inherently safe on public roads with larger vehicles just because it has a limited speed. If there is a market for this in Shanghai, then so be it. Build and sell them there. I do not believe there is any market for this vehicle in North America.


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    Jim I

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (7:44 am)

    If this is the future of driving in a big city,

    Then I will continue to live in a small city…………….

    :-)

    C-5277 – Purchased 10-05-2011


  3. 3
    Randy

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (8:19 am)

    Make an ultralight (they do it with airplanes )car with air filled fenders 500-1000LBs essentially made of airbags. That would survive a crash with a truck. Have you checked the air pressure in your fenders lately?


  4. 4
    Bonaire

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (8:28 am)

    My view of products is “if it doesn’t exist yet, it will be hard to create something new”. The closest thing to this in cities is the bicycle taxi and there are some cities in Asia where that is pretty popular. Not much in our US cities but I suspect this market would be in other populated cities.

    While residing in the USA, we really miss the urbanization of cities like Mumbai, Kuala Lampur, Hong Kong, Tokyo and other major metropolitain areas. This type of vehicle could have a future to replace larger car designs (like Smart ForTwo) which are still small cars. These would have to be integrated into certain set-aside streets so that you’re not battling trucks and taxis which would would play bumper-cars with these. They’re going to need “buzzways” – something akin to the asphalt wide walkways that the Rails to Trails initiative has done to create commuter bike/walking paths. Unlike motorcycles and bicycles, heavily used in foreign countries, these would protect the driver from the elements. Hopefully they have A.C. for areas of higher heat. But, bicycle and motorcycle users ride them mainly because they are poor and the bikes are 20 years old. Would “richer” folks buy these vehicles instead of heavier, safer cars? I really have to guess these would be more novel forms of commuting for the developing middle-class in some Asian countries such as China, Japan and Indonesia. I don’t think India will become rich enough to support these type of vehicles. Might be good in some areas of Europe like Holland where bicycles are also very widely used.

    I think I’d rather be on an electric motorcycle than in one of these “eggs”. Far more control, in my opinion.


  5. 5
    Tim Hart

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (8:57 am)

    Those creatures are the definition of claustrophobia! I’ll stick with the Volt.


  6. 6
    kdawg

     

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (8:58 am)

    Sweet. A PUMA article. Too bad im so swamped right now. I’d love to give my comments.


  7. 7
    Mark Z

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (9:46 am)

    GM should work with Disney to get this on the old People Mover / Rocket Rods track at Disneyland in California. Only one problem, they couldn’t run People Mover in the rain due to hills and slick tires. My Segway PT isn’t stable on slick muddy sidewalks or icy surfaces. Oh well, it was a nice idea!


  8. 8
    George S. Bower

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (9:57 am)

    article:
    “By 2030, more than 60 percent of the world’s 8 billion people will live in urban areas. ”

    well I won’t be contributing to that statistic thanks:)


  9. 9
    Xzlon

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (10:06 am)

    Cleanup the glass and trash from the bicycle lanes and start ticketing the drivers of road hog cars that speed up to get ahead of you so they don’t have to slow down a little to move in behind you to make their right turn at the intersection and we would have a perfect path for these vehicles. Sharing the road: a new thought for american commuting!


  10. 10
    montgoss

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (10:24 am)

    Eventually people will realize that they don’t need a 2500 pound car to be safe. A larger vehicle is no safer than a small vehicle. It’s actually more dangerous. Sure, it’s no more dangerous to the driver. But it’s definitely more dangerous to other people driving economically intelligent cars (ie smaller/lighter). You people treat your next car purchase like it’s an arms race. Keep this up and we’ll all be driving bulldozers to work!

    I look forward to the day when I don’t have to worry about some jackass in a SUV cutting me off because they think they’re invincible.


  11. 11
    N Riley

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (10:26 am)

    I could see situations where “normal” vehicles would park outside of the city center and use one of these to continue to their destination. It is a coming thing, in my opinion. This type of technology could really be improved with the “normal” vehicle gaining much of its ability. The future is slowly taking shape in front of us.


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    Loboc

     

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (10:41 am)

    I can’t see myself in one of these death-traps unless they are restricted to controlled lanes and have AI like Will Smith’s car in iRobot.

    Of course, there’s always the killer robots to worry about.


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    Loboc

     

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (10:44 am)

    Mark Z: My Segway PT isn’t stable on slick muddy sidewalks or icy surfaces.

    I wonder why they don’t use a track system like Johnny5.


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    DonC

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (10:50 am)

    This could be perfect for a lot of things people do, even today and even in suburbia. Obviously not a long distance cruiser but for going to the grocery store and running errands it would work just fine. I’ve thought of buying a Segway for this type of thing but the Segway is open and you have an issue with theft. This solves both issues. My Segway idea has now been moved to the back burner because of the Volt. The Volt doesn’t use any gas for these short trips and while no doubt it uses more electricity the fact is that electricity isn’t very expensive.

    But for parking space limited areas this would work well. Like a motorcycle you could find parking places that wouldn’t be large enough for a car.

    LOVE the idea of being chauffeured. It would be like having a personal train. It would as mentioned work great for older people who still need or want mobility but really shouldn’t be driving. I just hope this technology moves ages more rapidly than I do!


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    Steve

     

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (11:04 am)

    Looks great for getting around an urban area. Doesn’t address how you get to and from the urban area.


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    T 1

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (11:07 am)

    So I guess transporter technology isn’t ready yet. Damn.


  17. 17
    Randy

     

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (11:25 am)

    I may look into a street legal golf cart. Would be safer and less likely to topple over than this tall phone booth.


  18. 18
    Shawn Marshall

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (11:25 am)

    ? somebody cut the head off a UFO ?
    This technology could really be useful especially when it gravitates out to the highways – all we need is transporters to hustle the little buggers along and let them scoot off at their exits and self propel to the location. I’d like to have one for my 14 hour drives to Chicago – be nice to sleep, read and watch Cavuto en route. Wish I could live that long.


  19. 19
    Bonaire

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (11:29 am)

    montgoss: You people treat your next car purchase like it’s an arms race. Keep this up and we’ll all be driving bulldozers to work!

    Agreed. The # of minivans and SUVs at my kids schools is crazy. So many moms feel safer (while they talk on the phone and drive) driving their kids around in tanks. They don’t mind what they do to others when they wreck. They state that they need the SUV not only for safety but for cargo. My Mazda6 wagon (a sedan with a larger “boot” area) has more cubic feet of storage than most small SUVs. I would re-buy it in a heartbeat if it were an EREV. However, it doesn’t have the 3rd row of seats which are used about 5% of the time by those who have them. My wife “remembers the days” of our minivan when the kids were small and still wants one so she can drive our kids’ friends around. I’m not buying a car to drive other kids around unless they help pay for it :-)

    Not sure that this will change in the next decade until their children who grow up realize it’s too expensive to drive something like an SUV when gas is $6.00/gallon by 2020.


  20. 20
    lousloot

     

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (11:46 am)

    With some modification, this could fit perfectly into a pneumatic tube — which is the future of urban transport.

    Unfortunately the anarchist in me wonders how easy are these be to tip over and burn… Push off bridges… Bet they would smash like eggs.

    oops, moderator… is this offensive?


  21. 21
    Mike-o-Matic

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (12:14 pm)

    T 1:

    So I guess transporter technology isn’t ready yet.Damn.

    Thank heavens. If we could go anywhere instantaneously and at low cost, humankind would blight every inhabitable square foot of the planet in a heartbeat.


  22. 22
    BLIND GUY

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (12:20 pm)

    Didn’t Mork come to Earth in one of these eggs? “nanu nanu”. I could see how these pods could be used in up-coming crowded cities that haven’t already begun comprehensive mass transit systems. I don’t see these pods replacing good subway systems. The ENV would be a good model for pay as you go; taxi of the future; totally automated. Hmm, I guess I just contradicted myself, Oh well.


  23. 23
    Jackson

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (12:39 pm)

    T 1: So I guess transporter technology isn’t ready yet. Damn.

    “I was teleporting home last night
    with Ron and Sid and Meg;
    Ron stole Meggy’s heart away
    and I got Sidney’s leg.”

    –Douglas Adams


  24. 24
    Jackson

     

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (12:49 pm)

    Can these things co-exist with pedestrians, or would they be constrained to roadways?

    If one of these could just show up at your hotel (driving itself) after you summoned it from an agency with a smart phone, it would sure beat walking for blocks. Otherwise, I don’t see this replacing a traditional car anytime soon (defining 2020 – 30 as “soon”).

    Seems like the thing you need to ditch in the urban future is not the car, but the road. In addition to road wheels, have some kind of clamp-on drive up top which engages a system of miniature, elevated monorails to carry you to sky lobbies as well as ground level destinations. The overhead rail system could be totally automated. Actually, you’d retain existing roads for the delivery trucks and the few hardy souls willing to risk colliding with them.

    You know, since we’re in outer space cuckoo land.


  25. 25
    BLIND GUY

     

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (1:25 pm)

    #24 Jackson Seems like the thing you need to ditch in the urban future is not the car, but the road. In addition to road wheels, have some kind of clamp-on drive up top which engages a system of miniature, elevated monorails to carry you to sky lobbies as well as ground level destinations. The overhead rail system could be totally automated.

    Your over-head rail system could be installed over main arteries for longer distances and some routes could go as the crow flies. Power would also be available to the EN-V type pods while using the rail. This combo could work for automated taxis and private use.


  26. 26
    Jim I

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (1:37 pm)

    I thought that by now we wouldn’t need roads, as we would all be driving land speeders…..

    star-wars-land-speeder.jpg

    :)

    C-5277 – Purchased 10-05-2011


  27. 27
    James

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (2:02 pm)

    DonC: This could be perfect for a lot of things people do, even today and even in suburbia. Obviously not a long distance cruiser but for going to the grocery store and running errands it would work just fine. I’ve thought of buying a Segway for this type of thing but the Segway is open and you have an issue with theft.

    Don, not sure if you’ll take a suggestion proffered by a conservative independent like me ( just joking! ), but here’s an American-made option to the Segway that is faster, MUCH more portable ( Goes in trunk or hatch area of Volt ), much more affordable, is suspended and much more versatile than a Segway. Don’t get me wrong, ( MarkZ ) Segways are cool toys, and they make an all-terrain model ( snow, mud ) with big balloon knobby tires that would be great for my property as a transporter, but too pricey, heavy and slow. Did you know the actual owner of the Segway company recently died by driving his Segway off of an 80 foot cliff?!!

    Here’s an option I chose that makes a heck of a lot of better sense than Segway, and applies the K.I.S.S. theory as well: The Go-Ped scooter. Watch the videos, it folds easily and is much lighter than a Segway and goes into your trunk. I live in suburbia, but a converted “rails-to-trails” 18 mile bike path runs by my house and I can go to town, or grab this and take it on the bus into the city ( Seattle ) – when in the city it’s amazing to weave through people and ride right into malls and supermarkets! You don’t have the theft issue when it’s with you at all times. It goes off road and comes with lead acid batteries ( mine – 15-20 mph, 8-10 mile range ) for economy, and lithium ion ( best:16-28 mile range ), and a new A123 LifePo ( 16 – 24 mile range ) version which is closer to the price of the lead acid models. Mine is the fully-suspended “Hoverboard” model, with smooths out sidewalk seams and asphalt cracks and potholes. I recommend the suspension for older guys like me, but the ESR is less expensive. The seat you see in the video is optional but makes for easier – less hassle jaunts to the supermarket – people won’t hassle you as they even ignore you at stores thinking you’ve got a handicap! Recently lawsuits from people who’ve been hassled by store owners re: Service dogs in stores has made store managers much more lenient to EV Go-peds in stores, esp. if you’re seated. I ride mine primarily with no seat , standing up – it’s so fun! Segways are great for postmen and mall cops but these offer much more versatility and everyone will ask you 1) What is it? 2) Where do I get one? Go-peds are so compact – great for RVs and boats – I ride mine all over with a backpack.I put it in the hatch area of the Prius without seats folded – but where a conventional hybrid car sucks is SHORT TRIPS where the gas engine kicks in constantly – now I use the ‘ped for those jaunts to the store for milk or to the post office.

    Go-ped ( Patmont ) made their money and fame selling gas stand-up scooters in the ’90s yet almost went bankrupt when civic associations, towns and police depts. made riding their noisey, smelly 2 cycle scooters illegal on sidewalks and public walkways. Like any good resourceful American company, they rebounded by building American-made electric scooters like mine.They make a “PPV” police version with a “Torkinator” motor good for 30 mph! They also make propane scooters ( Lehr propane engine ) using American propane in the familiar little cannisters – these are so popular they’re out of stock!

    Check it out and think of the options – very practical! The only risk is guilt: I hear my father telling that old joke: A Native American guy sees a guy riding a bike and says: ” White man heap lazy! – SIT DOWN TO WALK! ”

    Cheap EV transport. Better than Segway:

    Vid one -ESR model with seat kit and basket: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-NRLfzXgP4

    Vid two – “Hoverboard” lithium model zipping through NYC at rush hour. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYLFui8hyyQ

    Website is: http://www.goped.com No I don’t work for them, just a big fan.

    BUY AMERICAN! ,

    James


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    Mitch

     

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (2:12 pm)

    Bonaire,

    a MINI VAN =Tanks?!?!

    i will let you know the weight of my Lumina APV is 3700#, and a Volt is 3800…I am a huge fan of the VOLT…but don’t be talkin minivans as tanks..they are bigger but for a family of 5, few cars fill our DAILY needs.

    i am getting a Volt strictly for work and occassional run about, but as a family hauler..no. When the Lumina dies, I am pricing an Orlando…3500# (ish) (although I hope they have an EXT version)

    and I am getting an amazing 9l/100km out of a 15 year old “tank” (27MPG) real world average..

    it aint no Volt..but its not a TANK….


  29. 29
    Mark Z

     

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (2:27 pm)

    The concept of the EN-V on separate roadways that are flat is the ideal location for these vehicles in crowded cities. The Segway PT is a fun bicycle replacement that I have enjoyed since 2003, but weather and single rider capacity is a reason for non-use. They are great for sightseeing and quick errands. I always love using the PT when the drive surface is smooth. Unlike the Volt, I have not gotten a traffic ticket with the Segway!


  30. 30
    Noel Park

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (2:33 pm)

    I’m as much of a car guy/old car guy (old cars that is, LOL) as anybody, but I could really get into the automated driving/multitasking/read a book/take a nap way of life. I could get my driving fix by taking my old cars out on the weekends.

    25 mph isn’t going to get it though with my commute.

    It’s pretty interesting that 3 different GM design studios have come up with versions. They must be pretty serious about it.

    It may not look as safe as a Hummer, which isn’t as safe as an MRAP, come to that, but look on the bright side. It would have to be 1000 times safer than a bicycle in an urban setting. And I’m also a motorcycle guy, but it would be a LOT safer than a motorcycle in urban traffic as well. I live in SoCal, and not ONE morning goes by without a report of a motorcycle down on the freeway somewhere.

    Oh well, I’ve taken my “early adopter” leap for this decade with the Volt, but it’ll be fun to watch this develop, if it ever does.

    BTW, OT, but my Sept./Oct. Edison bill arrived Saturday, and they’ve gone back to winter rates. I fully charge the Volt at least 6 nights a week, and my bill was $41.85, hahahahahahahahahah!!!! In the words of the late, great, Jim healy, “I don’t make ‘em up, pally”.


  31. 31
    Noel Park

     

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (2:37 pm)

    Jim I: I thought that by now we wouldn’t need roads, as we would all be driving land speeders…..

    #26

    Yeah, right. Or at least where is the personal helicopter I was promised back in about 1953, LOL? Or the flying car? +1


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    Noel Park

     

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (2:42 pm)

    Mitch: and I am getting an amazing 9l/100km out of a 15 year old “tank” (27MPG) real world average..

    #28

    Good man! +1 I get 27 mpg out of my 11 year old S10 pickup. Too bat the had to up-size it to the Colorado IMHO. Can you imagine one with a Cruze turbo engine and E-Assist?


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    Noel Park

     

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (2:43 pm)

    Lots of “+1s” today guys. Great comments. You are “Da Bomb!”

    Sorry if that dates me, LOL.


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    BLIND GUY

     

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (2:46 pm)

    #14 DonC I’ve thought of buying a Segway for this type of thing but the Segway is open and you have an issue with theft.

    I’m not sure if it was implemented or not; but when I read about the Segway development, it was talked about that if someone without a key tries to move the Segway, it would use its’ gyros in a way that would cause it to shake violently making it extremely difficult to manage. Maybe MarkZ can verify if this theft protection was used or not.


  35. 35
    James

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    Oct 17th, 2011 (2:47 pm)

    I just don’t see any practicable usage of this expensive option in the USA. Even in Europe and Asia these type vehicles are the darlings of Utopianists and Futurists. Can anybody say THE ZEITGEIST MOVEMENT CROWD?

    As a taxi system – it seems these vehicles could not co-exist with heavy taxis, trucks and vans. ICE vehicles would have to be banned or cordoned off inside large metroplexes ( again, expensive ). I can see the graphical display on video of sensing crash avoidance-locator systems, perhaps that is the best R&D fruit that can come out of this research.

    Someone mentioned a situation where you drive to the outskirts of a city and then grab some kind of public ZIP Car, rental EN-V type conveyance to get you into and out of the congested area. DREAM ON! How expensive is THIS?! And you still have to park your car in some kind of congested superlot? And where do you park the EN-V but for some hugely expensive stacked, computerized facility?! And any realist knows that in NYC or any American city it would be hammered and smell of piss and be covered in graffitti, cracked and vandalized in seconds! The infrastructure to support his type of people’s machine on computer-controlled track to publilc stacking facility garbage is just that – garbage.

    GM could do well to keep it’s Chinese research partners all occupied designing such pipe dreams for a Communist Utopian World – but to me, it’s just busywork. Maybe that’s good to keep them off our EREV tech! Maybe that’s what all this EN-V stuff is, a smokescreen the Asians eat up like sticky rice! GM shouldn’t spend too much R&D effort and money on such conceptual futurism, IMHO.

    There is the retirement community market – You know, those fenced communities in Arizona and Florida restricted to golf carts. These gadgets seem far too expensive unless purchased by the community association as part of the whole package. And doesn’t GEM have a corner on the electric neighborhood vehicle market?

    Let’s give this to the OCCUPY WALL STREET nutjobs – of whom I heard one say a “rock n’ roll utopia where they tax the rich and have some sort of solar panel pipe across America for all the people” is what we need ” !

    RECHARGE! ,

    James

    I suggest the electric Go-ped, and there are always bicycles and public transport in light rail. This stuff is sci-fi and doesn’t make any sense at all. Always people dream of such expensive, extremely difficult-to-implement pipedreams as the solution to all mankind’s problems. Most times – the simplest solution is best by far.


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    Oct 17th, 2011 (3:33 pm)

    James: I hear my father telling that old joke: A Native American guy sees a guy riding a bike and says: ” White man heap lazy! – SIT DOWN TO WALK! ”

    I am descended from Native Americans. A full-blooded ancestor is supposed to have said (of a bicycler), “Look at that crazy white man! Working his legs to death to give his @$$ a ride!”

    We’re all way too sensitive, IMHO.


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    Oct 17th, 2011 (3:45 pm)

    George S. Bower: article:
    “By 2030, more than 60 percent of the world’s 8 billion people will live in urban areas. ”
    well I won’t be contributing to that statistic thanks:)

    But you may visit a city


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    Oct 17th, 2011 (4:03 pm)

    BLIND GUY: I could see how these pods could be used in up-coming crowded cities that haven’t already begun comprehensive mass transit systems. I don’t see these pods replacing good subway systems. The ENV would be a good model for pay as you go; taxi of the future; totally automated. Hmm, I guess I just contradicted myself, Oh well.

    The pod-cars remind me of cities with public bicycle systems. Barcelona had tons of bikes and a mass transit sytem. I had to use the mass transit because I was not a citizen of Barcelona and was not allowed to use their bikes. I did have my folding bike with me, which I used a lot. My friends just got back from Denver, and they had a public bicycle system. You paid some money, rode the bike to the next station and parked it. They seemed to like it. One advantage of the pod-cars is that you are not sweaty when you get to your destination.


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    Oct 17th, 2011 (4:11 pm)

    James,

    The Go-Peds look cool, but there is work left to do. One show-stopper for me is the brush-type DC motor; these require maintenance because of the contact-pads and brushes constantly rubbing against each other as the motor operates. A proper controller should be capable of driving a brushless-commutation design (either AC induction or stationary coil PM). Also, the cycle lives given for the various battery options are shockingly low (I meant to do that ;-) ). There is a tenfold life improvement over Li-Ion for sealed Lead Acid (though this may be partly mitigated by greater range with Lithium). Seems like a battery-management-system-lite could maintain an available charge-window to promote cell life the way the Volt does.


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    Oct 17th, 2011 (4:15 pm)

    “The company says “autonomous mode” offers mobility to people who may not otherwise be able to operate a vehicle.

    Presumably this could include the blind, handicapped, old and infirm, or even children” … and DUI offenders.

    Possible GM ad:
    Are you and your drinking buddies having trouble finding a designated driver? The folks at GM have partnered with Anheuser-Busch to keep the roads safer while not interfering with your celebrations. The new Chevrolet EN-V can be your designated driver after game day is over. In limited time offer just in time for the upcoming Super Bowl LXIV and with the purchase of an eligible 12 pack Anheuser-Busch product, your local General Motors dealer will dispatch a new Chevrolet EN-V to your location for a test drive home. Even if you do not remember your first experience in the Chevrolet EN-V, we are confident that you will be satisfied with your test drive. Unless you are sure that someone will be sober enough to give us directions for your location, please register online at http://www.ChevyENVBudBowl.com before your best party yet.


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    Oct 17th, 2011 (4:51 pm)

    JeffB: The folks at GM have partnered with Anheuser-Busch

    Or partner with MADD.
    Would it be legal to drink inside the En-V if it was driving autonomously?


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    Oct 17th, 2011 (5:49 pm)

    Jackson: James, The Go-Peds look cool, but there is work left to do. One show-stopper for me is the brush-type DC motor; these require maintenance because of the contact-pads and brushes constantly rubbing against each other as the motor operates. A proper controller should be capable of driving a brushless-commutation design (either AC induction or stationary coil PM). Also, the cycle lives given for the various battery options are shockingly low (I meant to do that ). There is a tenfold life improvement over Li-Ion for sealed Lead Acid (though this may be partly mitigated by greater range with Lithium). Seems like a battery-management-system-lite could maintain an available charge-window to promote cell life the way the Volt does.

    Good points. I know leading hub motor companies for electric bicycles, like Crystallite use a brushless design said to be best at low rpm torque and high rpm speed. Perhaps the decision to use a brushed vs. brushless motor on the Go-ped is based upon the fact that the motor is a single geared system which has to use a specific ratio based upon the type of riding one does – Mostly high speed, mostly hills vs. flatland riding, or a compromise in the middle. I live in hilly country and use a middle gear ratio and run mostly in that mid rpm area to increase range with the best power to weight.

    So far my Go-ped hasn’t needed brush card replacement, but I know it will eventually when it loses power. There are various brushcard changing How-To videos on YouTube provided by Go-ped, and it doesn’t look daunting to a guy who can do basic bicycle maintenance.

    I also noticed that the guy who developed an aftermarket “Hot Rod” motor for Go-peds also went brushed vs. brushless. His website is here: http://www.torkinator.com/ and includes some interesting reading as does this link to gopednation.com with discussions on motor development.

    http://www.gopednation.com/forum/showthread.php?p=3960846

    I know you know more about electric motors than I so perhaps you can read this stuff and let me know your insights? I want a LifePo battery pack = 1000 cycles and perhaps more aggressive gearing. The Torkinator seems my only option out there for top speed/hill climbing. A video on YouTube had a guy in ‘Frisco who used a Mag Motor ( brushless? ) to increase extreme hill climbing for his Go-Ped Hoverboard, but a year later I noticed an ad he posted to sell it, saying the Torkinator was superior.

    The 1000 cycles for the LifePo is better than lithium ion and should last me for several years vs. the SLAs which go for about 10 months and need to be replaced at $100 a pop! To me, the LifePo is a HUGE IMPROVEMENT. Remember too, these motor/battery combos have to be at a certain pricepoint to find a market – and the power to weight needs to be large for a very small motor. The Torkinator guy was a big dude, and videos on YouTube show his motor carrying him up some impressive hills! This was his motivation to invent a higher perf motor for Go-Peds. Seattle is hilly like San Francisco and I am doing fine with my 210lb. weight and stock motor. That said, Torkinator’s are pricey and my best strategy for more range and faster hill climbing may be to lose 25 lbs. – which seems to be true for a lot of vehicles where weight is a factor!

    Got to run, hopefully we can do more research.

    BTW, I’m Irish and Scot – and I get irritated by all the cliche drunk Irish guy jokes and assumptions. I don’t drink much and never to excess, but I do see the “hot blooded” traits in myself and family ( they love to argue – not me ) – we don’t have any alcoholics in my extended family so sometimes I have to whack myself for being oversensitive about the Irish jokes. I’m also proud of my heritage. We’re (USA) the melting pot, man!

    RECHARGE! ,

    James


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    Oct 17th, 2011 (6:37 pm)

    #41 Kdawg Would it be legal to drink inside the En-V if it was driving autonomously?

    Sorry; no drinks, eating, smoking or sex will be permitted in the EN-Vs used by the general public. However if you are being driven autonomously in your personal EN-V all of the above are permitted [not necesarly all or in any particular order]. Please drive responsibly; drive autonomously.


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    Oct 17th, 2011 (7:11 pm)

    kdawg: Would it be legal to drink inside the En-V if it was driving autonomously?

    #41

    Yeah, a lot of constructive uses of otherwise wasted driving time come to mind, LOL. +1


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    Oct 17th, 2011 (7:13 pm)

    BLIND GUY: However if you are being driven autonomously in your personal EN-V all of the above are permitted

    #43
    Damn, you beat me to it, LOL! +1


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    Oct 17th, 2011 (7:48 pm)

    EN-V: Not your grandfather’s Chevy

    Probably not my Grandson’s either. Unless they give them out with a monthly Subway pass.


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    Oct 17th, 2011 (8:04 pm)

    Noel Park: Can you imagine one with a Cruze turbo engine and E-Assist?

    Yes, I can. +1 Noel


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    Oct 17th, 2011 (10:36 pm)

    ok but i dont see why they have to put chinese names on it.


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    Oct 17th, 2011 (10:44 pm)

    Did anybody notice the busy multi-lane intersection in the video at 2:10 where vehicles are blazing through with no traffic signals and missing each other?


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    Oct 18th, 2011 (1:01 am)

    James: Did you know the actual owner of the Segway company recently died by driving his Segway off of an 80 foot cliff?!!

    Yes. It was funny in a morbid kinda way. Not that he died but running his safe Segway off a cliff. In fairness he bought the company. He wasn’t the inventor or the founder. Thanks for the tip about the scooter. My problem is I live in SoCal. We’re soft. If it gets below 55F we freeze and if it gets above 75F we die of heat. So I feel I need two seats and room for stuff.

    Jeff Cobb: Did anybody notice the busy multi-lane intersection in the video at 2:10 where vehicles are blazing through with no traffic signals and missing each other?

    The technology already exists for this to happen. However, you have to have ALL the vehicles equipped with the technology for this to work.

    But Google had (has?) one or more cars that it equipped with sensors that could drive itself/themselves. That part could be implemented now. Once you start equipping all the cars then you have the capability “seeing” far ahead and of never having an accident. You’re starting to see that in things like lane control and adaptive cruise control (regrettably the Volt has neither). Add red lights/stop signs and you’re most of the way there for suburban driving. And of course GPS is already there.

    I think people might be surprised how much of this technology GM has. Advanced yes but we’re not all that far away.


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    Oct 18th, 2011 (5:01 am)

    Movie makers Steven Spielberg or James Cameron have nothing on GM. What Hollywood can only dream of, GM is preparing to build.

    I would not have a use for this type of vehicle but can see these used in Hawaii and many other resort or retirement communities. Don’t forget.. baby boomers are retiring. That is a lot of people.
    Go to any retirement community and you will see a lot of golf carts… this would be a good alternative.

    I’ve always been interested in futuristic vehicles….
    … I remember reading about a electric car you would be able to buy that could go 100mph and had no transmission .. no shifting.

    When I was 16 .. the Volt was as futuristic as this vehicle is.


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    Oct 22nd, 2011 (3:58 pm)

    I think a networked, self-driving, tiny, maneuverable vehicle is a great idea — if it is a replacement for a full car. However I don’t think that a vehicle that only competes with walking (or bike riding or mass transit) will help to solve anything.

    If “urban vehicle” means low speed, then this wouldn’t solve parking or traffic congestion or pollution. In fact it would make all of those things much worse.