General Motors and Opel aren’t letting Google get all the glory − both the automaker and the brand are “demonstrating their commitment to the future” of automated driving and connected mobility at the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) World Congress. Showcased are the Opel Insignia research vehicle, an automated Chevrolet EN-V 2.0 concept, and a Chevrolet Cruze equipped with vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P) connectivity.
“At GM, we have a renewed passion, the financial resources, the technology and the talent to think big, to step up our investments and take calculated risks. I am listening to customers and they want unfettered personal mobility. They expect us to help mitigate if not eliminate the congestion, pollution and traffic accidents. To me, these aren’t noble causes but imperatives,” says GM CEO Mary Barra.
Opel Insignia Research Vehicle
The Opel Insignia research vehicle −brother to our Buick Regal − is equipped with cameras, LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) sensors, and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication technologies that demonstrate how a future commuter can handle low-speed, stop-and-go city driving, and highway-speed automated driving. Six LiDAR sensors in the bumpers use constant light scanning to identify objects around the car, while a forward-pointing camera on top of the car reads lane markings and detects other objects. The V2V and V2I technologies, which are located in an antenna on top of the car, communicate with other objects that the Insignia encounters. The vehicle also uses GPS satellite to constantly remain aware of its position on the roadways. All of these items are fused through GM’s sensor fusion technology for the ability of 360-degree awareness and object detection.
EN-V 2.0 Concept
After debuting the original two-wheeled Electric Networked-Vehicle (EN-V) concept in 2010 at Shanghai World Expo, this EN-V 2.0 showcases the latest technologies like a four-wheel-drive system that combines cameras, LiDAR, and V2X for a “hands-free, low-speed electric driving experience.” This vehicle has many of the same technologies that power the Opel Insignia research vehicle at low speed, but this small electric vehicle is built only for low speeds.
Vehicle-to-Pedestrian Technology Demonstration
GM presented a Chevrolet Cruze equipped with V2P communication technology at Belle Isle in Detroit to demonstrate other potential uses. Several mock construction sites were set up on a road course for participants will be driven through the work areas. “Mannequin workers” in the construction area are obscured from the view of drivers and passengers yet are outfitted with arm bands that communicate their respective locations. The Cruze receives warning lights that blink on the heads-up display. GM hopes that future V2P communication technology could be integrated into more aspects of pedestrian life to enhance safety for all.
“GM will put its first V2V-enabled car on the road in about two years. What’s more I am announcing that we will bring an advanced, highly-automated driving technology to the market in the same time frame,” added Barra.
The ITS World Congress takes place from September 7-11.