GM surprises with autonomous Cadillac concepts

GM surprises with autonomous Cadillac concepts

GM at CES unveiled two autonomously controlled “cars” with whimsical shapes.

CES wouldn’t be CES without crazy, far-out vehicle concepts. Luckily, General Motors brought two of them, The Verge reports.

The automaker showed off an egg-shaped luxury autonomous car and a single-seat vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) electric plane during its keynote address on Tuesday. Both vehicles are part of Cadillac’s Halo portfolio and probably won’t go into production anytime soon – or at all.

Nevertheless, the concepts are meant to demonstrate Cadillac’s (and by extension GM’s) design intentions for future products, as well as serve as an extravagant symbol of the brand’s manufacturing skills.

The AV concept resembles a leather- and fur-trimmed version of many of the autonomous human shuttles we’ve seen on college campuses and corporate campuses around the world. It lacks traditional controls such as a steering wheel and pedals, instead opting for an interior that looks more like a 1970s-era sunken living room. Michael Simcoe, GM’s vice president of global design, described it as “a social space for a group of friends or family to spend time together on the way to a destination.”

The car features a vertical light signature, a wide glass roof and biometric sensors to read passengers’ vitals and use that data to adjust settings such as temperature, lighting, ambient noise and even aromatics. Other options, such as voice control and gesture recognition, ensure that making these adjustments is largely effortless (depending on the quality of the technology, of course).

The VTOL concept looks like a more futuristic version of some of the aerotaxi prototypes currently in development. Simcoe called it “GM’s first foray into aerial mobility,” though it’s just a project, and it’s unclear whether GM really intends to produce a commercial version. (A spokesman for the automaker declined to provide any images or more information about either concept.)