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The annual pageantry of electronic innovation known as the Consumer Electronics Shows (CES) might be going the all-digital virtual route this year but that has not diminished its ability to inspire and surprise with its rollout of amazing new products and prototypes in all marketable industries. For example: Flying cars.
Not to be left in the dust with the driverless and flying car crazes currently sweeping the globe, General Motors' luxury car brand, Cadillac, has taken the cover off a couple of concept designs for its versions of an airborne auto and a self-navigating pod and their looks are causing online attendees to stare.
As part of the storied car company's keynote address delivered yesterday, Cadillac revealed two futuristic models from its Halo Portfolio, and depending on whether you're into minimalist art or like your soaring vehicles with a bit more sci-fi infused, you'll either love 'em or hate 'em. The first concept is a high-end, egg-shaped (or toaster-styled!) personal autonomous vehicle (PAV) that drives itself (think Westworld Season 3 vibes) and the second is a sleek single-seat, electric verticle takeoff and landing (eVTOL) creation straight out of Blade Runner.
These prospective designs aren't necessarily going into production in the near future but are more of a confident statement about the storied firm's comittment to fine craftsmanship and advanced manufacturing prowess.
Cadillac's PAV concept pod appears to be a luxurious mini-limo with all the creature comforts of a groovy, leather-appointed lounge on wheels.
It's engineered without a steering wheel and pedals and includes voice control, gesture recognition software, biometric seat sensors for climate control, and employs aromatherapy to keep passengers in a fine-smelling environment until they reach their intended destination.
GM’s VP of Global Design, Michael Simcoe, explains that its purpose is intended as “a social space for a group of friends or family to spend time together on their way to a destination.”
Their electric VTOL machine is similar to some air taxi models seen displayed by competing manufacturers over the past few years.
It's General Motors' first step into the world of aerial mobility and acts as a simple design exercise and probably not a product that will be available for the general commercial market. It's equipped with a 90.0-kWh capacity battery that fires up four rotors to provide vertical takeoffs and soft landings, with a top cruising speed of 56 miles-per-hour.
"We are preparing for a world where advances in electric and autonomous technology make personal air travel possible," Simcoe noted during Tuesday's official presentation.