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GM gets to work on next-generation EN-V
GM just unveiled its plans for the next car o' the future. As you'd expect, it's all spaceage and environmentally friendly. As you might not expect, the next-gen EN-V is smart enough to drive itself.
Posted October 12, 2011
GM just announced that it has begun work on the next-generation Chevrolet EN-V, or "Electronic Networked-Vehicle."

The concept vehicle will continue to address environment concerns regarding energy consumption and pollution, but will add features customers are apparently clamoring for, including climate control, more space for storage, and all-weather operation.

"By 2030, more than 60 percent of the world's 8 billion people will live in urban areas," declared Chevrolet's vice president of global marketing and strategy, Chris Perry. "The Chevrolet EN-V represents a possible solution for global customers living in markets where alternative transportation solutions are needed."

This new class of electronic vehicles are designed to plug into a city-wide network. In April, GM signed a memorandum of understanding with the Sino-Singapore Tianhin Eco-City Investment and Development Co. Ltd. to work together on integrating the next-generation EN-V into Tianhin Eco-City's network in order to study and improve infrastructure and communications.

While reducing emissions remains high on Chevrolet's list of priorities, incorporating technology to improve safety through wireless communication with integrated network is also on the agenda. The goal is to reduce accidents and traffic congestion through GPS technology, vehicle-to vehicle communications, and distance-sensing technologies.

Reportedly, these technologies allow an EN-V to be driven either manually or autonomously, enabling people with limited mobility a renewed opportunity to drive.

"(The En-V) provides an ideal solution for petroleum- and emission-free urban transportation that is free from congestion and crashes," stated Chris Borroni-Bird, GM's director of advanced technology vehicle concepts, adding that the next EN-V would be "more fun and fashionable than ever before."

The EN-V runs on lithium-ion batteries and can be charged from a conventional wall outlet. It can travel at some 25 miles (40 km) on a full charge, which GM describes as "an acceptable range for most urban trips."
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