After GM and Chrysler filed for bankruptcy last year, it was hard for a car geek like myself to give them much respect. Visions of executive boardrooms with bloated, out-of-touch white men running the show, filled my head. Late model American cars like the Sebring and Impala epitomize the worst thinking in automotive design today. And don’t even get me started on the PT Cruiser……
I figured the Volt was the one product at either with any kind of forward-thinking innovation. Late last year, GM did quietly introduce a concept for the PUMA, a collaboration with Dean Kamen, which was a small, beefed-up Segway device. It showed a nice integration of Kamen’s gyro-stabilization in a small, urban runabout.
Now, GM has officially unveiled some crazy cool pod cars, and it shows they have some far-reaching thinking going on in some of those boardrooms. Somehow, I don’t believe they were thought up in Detroit.
General Motors sees a future where people navigate crowded cities in big Segways that look kinda like a Dyson vacuum cleaner and can drive you home when you’ve had one too many.
Seriously. The General unveiled a trio of electric “urban mobility vehicles,” built with help from the über-geeks at Segway, today in Shanghai. They’re called Electric Networked Vehicles and they’re designed for cities bursting at the seams with traffic.