#CES2021: General Motors unveils flying, self-driving Cadillac
At the all-virtual CES 2021, General Motors has revealed its plan to enter the nascent electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) air-taxi business, by showcasing renders and animations of a Cadillac-branded, battery-powered, passenger air vehicle (PAV). The upcoming 4-rotor aircraft shall draw power from a 90kWh electric motor, offering speed of up to 90km/h. Here are more details.
Looking at the renders, the Cadillac-branded eVTOL air taxi looks like a single-seater drone, which will probably be used for autonomously executed short urban hops. This personal aircraft will have an ultra-lightweight body with four rotors, panoramic glass roof, sliding doors, and a GM Ultium battery pack. The cabin will offer a lounge-like seating along with biometric sensors, hand gesture recognition, and voice control.
It is unclear whether GM has a functional eVTOL prototype or the next step it is mulling toward the development of this new business. Currently, it has refrained from committing to production or detailing a time frame in which we can expect to see them.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) inked a deal with California-based Archer Aviation to manufacture flying cars. Aston Martin and Hyundai have also shown interest in this new business. Rapid advancements in batteries, cloud-based services, and electric motors for EVs, make investments in flying cars seem more plausible. GM's Ultium battery hardware program could be a potential game-changer.
Well, depends on who you ask. Ride-hailing industry leader Uber recently axed its flying taxi project called Uber Elevate and sold it to a start-up named Joby Avionics. In addition to the sale, Uber also invested $75 million in Joby Avionics' program for reasons unknown.