Mary Barra and her leadership team at GM showed company’s plans for connected car, product launches and more during a conference call. Bara says GM sees fast changing technology as an opportunity to become a disruptor.
Products and services announced were:
- Fuel Cell Propulsion: in collaboration with Honda, GM is developing a next-generation hydrogen fuel cell stack and hydrogen storage systems in the 2020 timeframe.
- Mixed Materials:The company is using an array of materials, including various grades of steel, aluminum and composites, to help make vehicles stronger, safer, more fuel-efficient and fun to drive.
- Exclusive Mixed-Metal Manufacturing Techniques: GM’s R&D team has invented another patented, industry-first welding technology to allow the use of more lightweight metal on future vehicles. This resistance spot-welding process enables the welding of aluminum to steel, which helps make vehicles lighter and more structurally robust. The process will be adopted at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant on the Cadillac CT6 in the first half of 2016.
- Self-Driving Volts at GM – GM announced that late in 2016 it will add a fleet of 2017 Chevrolet Volts designed to drive autonomously within its renovated Warren Technical Center campus. GM employees will reserve a Volt using a car-sharing app, then select a destination. GM’s autonomous technology will bring the vehicle to its destination and park it.
- Super Cruise Caddy in 2016 – GM has been testing its “Super Cruise” autonomous driving technology since 2012, and confirmed today the feature will be available in the 2017 Cadillac CT6.
- Car Sharing: GM also announced two new car- and ride-sharing projects, one in New York City called Let’s Drive NYC and one to come in first quarter next year in another U.S. city
- eBike Concept: Designed and engineered at GM’s engineering and development center in Oshawa, Ontario, the eBike concept was designed to help people stay mobile in an increasingly difficult-to-navigate urban landscape.
In the next five years, GM plans to introduce a large number of all-new or refreshed vehicles globally. In 2015, about 26 percent of GM’s global sales volume has come from vehicles new or refreshed within the previous 18 months. This percentage is projected to be 39 percent in 2016, 40 percent in 2017, 31 percent in 2018, and reach 40 percent in 2019 and 2020.