General Motors Corp. showed off the so-called “skateboard” for its Chevy Sequel technical concept vehicle at SAE’s 2007 World Congress this week. The vehicle, which GM calls the “most technically advanced automobile ever built,” was said to represent the third stage in the automaker’s “Reinvention of the Automobile” program.”
Designed around hydrogen fuel cell technology, the Sequel uses three electric motors and a lithium-ion battery for its propulsion system. The vehicle reportedly has a 300-mile range between hydrogen fill-ups and emits only water vapor.
Late last year, GM announced that it had created the first driveable version of the vehicle.
The so-called “skateboard” shown at SAE this week is an 11-inch-deep chassis that contains all of the Sequel’s propulsion, transmission, steering and braking components and provides a single electrical connection to its body.
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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.