In a significant development General Motors Co presented a futuristic self-driving vehicle flying Cadillac which can take off and land vertically carrying passenger above streets through the air.
A senior GM executive described the concept as “reimagining the future of personal transportation”.
The single-passenger Cadillac, which essentially is a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drone, will be able to travel from urban rooftop to urban rooftop at speeds up to 55 miles per hour.
Equipped with a 90kW motor, the all-electric VTOL Cadillac is fully autonomous and comes equipped with a GM Ultium battery pack; it has an ultra-lightweight body with four pairs of rotors.
The concept flying Cadillac was presented in a video as part of a virtual keynote presentation by Chief Executive Mary Barra, along with a family-friendly Cadillac electric shuttle.
In 2020, Barra had revealed that GM was exploring alternative transportation modes including aerial taxis.
The concepts in the CES video were introduced by GM design chief Mike Simcoe, who described the VTOL as “the Cadillac of urban air mobility”.
“VTOL is key to GM’s vision for a multimodal future,” said Barra.
Described in the video as “arriving soon,” the autonomous Cadillac shuttle features a boxy silhouette that recalls the Cruise Origin, also designed by Simcoe’s team. It features fore and aft sliding doors and a panoramic glass roof. Its cabin has wraparound lounge-like seating, and comes equipped with biometric sensors, voice control and hand gesture recognition.
GM did not disclose further details.
GM’s peers, including Toyota Motor, Geely Automobile and Hyundai Motor, have shown concept aerial vehicles as part of their future plans.
With the news reaching the market, GM’s shares were up by 5.8% to $47.62 in early afternoon trade.