Originally published on CleanTechnica.
Personal transportation could get a lot more personal if GM’s EN-V pods become more than just concepts. The second generation of those personal transportation pods is set to debut in China’s Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City, a massive metropolitan project designed to offer up to 350,000 residents the cleanest, greenest living conditions possible.
This could include access to the second generation of GM’s Electric Networked-Vehicle, or EN-V, which features technology allowing it to talk and connect to other EN-V’s on the road to avoid traffic congestion and accidents in the most efficient way possible. The new concept has seating for two, whereas the original EN-V was designed for just a single person, and Internet connectivity is offered inside the tiny pod car.
It’s a lot less sci-fi than the initial upstanding concepts, with the EN-V 2.0 having a distinctly more “car” look and feel to it…thanks in part to the inclusion of a fourth wheel. GM also added a climate control system and storage space to fully flesh out the concept as something closer to a production vehicle, and it’s been designed to essentially drive itself via GPS and a suite of sensors connecting the entire network of pod cars.
GM is bringing this new generation of the EN-V to the Eco-City, where planners hope to bring green technology and jobs to a pre-planned city where clean water and clean air are the priority. China is particularly sensitive to issues of air cleanliness right now, and since the EN-V is 100% electric, its emissions impact is greatly reduced, especially if it draws its power from solar or wind power.
In China, the EN-V was a big hit, but could Americans ever be convinced to squeeze our oversized-asses (generally speaking) into a car that could fit in the back of a pickup truck?