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January 7, 2022
General Motors unveiled its upcoming EV lineup and new battery cell and propulsion architecture at CES 2022.
Developed in partnership with LG, GM’s Ultium EV platform will underpin the company’s all-electric Cadillac Celstiq. The Celestiq incorporates both IoT and AI-driven luxuries to rival Tesla’s high-end EVs. For one, it will be the first deployment of GM’s Ultra Cruise automated driver assistance software, a successor to GM Super Cruise, and follows Tesla adding its full self-driving software into ignitions last year.
The artificial intelligence in Ultra Cruise knows how to navigate 2 million miles of roads in North America. As well as highways, it can steer down city streets and paved countryside roads. Officially, it’s a Level 2-grade autonomous driving system meaning human supervision is required. But GM claims it can operate hands-free in 95% of driving situations, from departure to destination.
It marks a key stepping stone in GM’s autonomy plans. Cruise, the self-driving subsidiary controlled by GM, expects to have personal autonomous vehicles ready by the middle of this decade and has just started testing its tech on San Francisco roads, said GM CEO Mary Barra said during the presentation.
GM also threw out a mention for Pure Watercraft, the electric-powered boat maker it backed in November.
Celestiq first surfaced in media reports last year. From the interior, there’s reportedly a 23-inch curved LED screen installed in the non-driver front dashboard, along with smaller monitors in the back. Advanced nanoparticles in the roof allow passengers to select different glass transparency settings for the quartile they’re sitting in.
GM also promises a smoother ride in its forthcoming EV products. Its new flexible propulsion system, Ultiumdrive, has five interchangeable drive units, which company officials said will unify EV propulsion across the front, rear and wheels.
Due to debut next year, the mid-price pickup truck Silverado EV also emerged at CES, retailing for $40,000. There’s enough in its Ultium battery pack to tow an 8,000 lb. payload and charge a second EV, using an external wire, if surplus is available. Future models will tow 20,000 lb. GM’s heads-up display shows key notifications on the windshield including current speed, speed limits and driver assistance features. EV models of the Chevrolet Equinox and Chevrolet Blazer were also unveiled.
GM also showcased Ultifi, the company’s new over-the-air-service platform, based on the open source Linux operating system. It allows owners to update the product firmware with third-party utility features through GM’s range of smartphone apps: Cadillac, MyGMC, My Chevrolet and MyBuick.
GM’s commercial EV subsidiary offered up some good news, too. BrightDrop, the electric commercial goods van supplier set up by GM last CES, is upping its contract with FedEx to supply 2,000 more EV delivery vehicles over three years, while Walmart bought another 5,000.
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