Mini Wheels Could Solve Big Problems


Yesterday, GM (General Motors) shared its vision of the future… it’s called EN-V. With the increasing of population and traffic congestion in mega cities like Bejing,  New Delhi, London, New York and many others that will pop up over the next couple decades, it’s critical that a solution be developed to make travel accessible for the millions of people who live in these locations.

Chris Borroni-Bird, GM Director of Advanced Technology Concept Vehicles, states that “Building more and wider roads is expensive and doesn’t really solve all of the problems, meaning that smarter solutions are needed,” he says. “Public transportation is important, but with so many people going from point to point in different directions, some personal transport is needed as well.”

After the completion of the Chevrolet Sequel Fuel Cell in 2007  (an electrochemical fuel cell that combines hydrogen fuel with oxygen to produce electricity and whose only by-product is water vapor), he began working on the EN-V program.

Chris believes that since so many people usually only travel with one or two occupants in a vehicle, that vehicle size could be and should be reduced dramatically. Think smaller than a mini cooper or Honda Fit… think two wheels and two seats.

The EN-V concept features just that. It has two wheels that support two upright seats. The electronic propulsion system used for short range commuter travel would practically eliminate large cities carbon footprints. In addition, the advance technologies proposed for this vehicle include; vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle communications powered by OnStar which would alert drivers of traffic congestion “real time” and re-route them using GPS.

Although, one could manually drive their EN-V. It also features autonomous operation. Theoretically, a driver could potentially “summon” a vehicle to their location using a smart phone application. Once they get in the vehicle , they tell it where to go -and off it goes. The time a person would normally spend “driving” could instead be used to get on the internet, watch television, etc… all using the power of OnStar communications.  The advanced sensor technology to power autonomous driving detects vehicles, pedestrians and virtually eliminates the potential for an accident.

So what do you think? Is the EN-V a solution for the growing traffic problems in major metropolis cities?

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