General Motors today said it will roll out five-foot-long, pod-like, concept vehicles that run on electricity and communicate with surrounding cars.
Known as Electric Networked Vehicles (EN-V), the concept cars are designed for use in high-population areas and will go on display at the World Expo in Shanghai on May 1st, says a story on MSN.com. Working with electric scooter maker, Segway, GM developed the concept vehicles in its studios in Australia, Europe and the United States.
The vehicles are said to be a scant 60 inches long, 56 inches wide, and 69 inches tall at their highest points. They average about 900 pounds in weight. Their bodies are said to be built from lightweight plastic and carbon fibers.
All of the EN-V concepts are powered by a Segway powertrain – brushless DC wheel motors that provide propulsion and braking. MSN’s story says that the EN-V will constantly communicate with traffic management networks to find the most efficient route to a prescribed destination.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.