Posts tagged with "General Motors"

Massive Cadillac Lyriq screen displays instrument cluster, infotainment system, and lighting controls

July 16, 2021

The interior of the car of the future is here—or so says General Motors. When the battery electric 2023 Cadillac Lyriq SUV arrives next year, it may mark the beginning of the end for the familiar rectangular display screen, Forbes reports.

Instead of a single, center-mounted screen, the Lyriq will feature a curved LED display that measures 33-inches diagonally and serve as the instrument cluster, infotainment system and control for lighting with the ability to emit over a billion colors.

According to Forbes, the LYRIQ interior is clean and simple with a focus on secondary and tertiary design elements. The almost cabin-wide screen can act as a single unit or be divided into three areas, according to longtime General Motors software partner Altia, which played a key role in developing the display through use of its human-machine interface solutions.

Altia CEO Mike Juran says that, through its ongoing work on other GM vehicles, his company was aware of the direction in which the automaker was headed.

“The Lyriq became a gateway for GM to move from a more traditional driver/vehicle relationship to this next generation,” Juran explained in an interview with Forbes.

This “next generation,” Juran says, means how drivers and their vehicles will interact, especially with the evolution of advanced driver assist technologies including Cadillac’s semi-autonomous Super Cruise systems. Those systems necessarily will need to better inform drivers of the vehicle’s status and other conditions as well as providing more intuitive and easy-to-use controls.

While the Cadillac Lyriq represents a concrete move away from the traditional rectangular screen, Juran notes, the vehicle’s advanced display is also a clear view into the way the auto industry as a whole is headed.

“The trend that’s happened is, now car companies are thinking about UI (user interface) on the glass as a first surface design element; as opposed to let’s build a car then let’s slap a 17-inch monitor on it and let whoever is building apps throw in whatever they want,” said Juran. “This thing is integrated into the vehicle from both an aesthetic, user experience, and, most importantly, a safety perspective.”

GM, he said, created the display architecture reflecting the fact that it need only handle functions specific and necessary to the vehicle. On Altia’s end, “We’ve turned that realization into the ability to create really rich looking graphics without having to use a lot of really expensive microprocessors that burn a lot of wattage,” said Juran.

While Cadillac is GM’s premium brand, Juran says some version of its advanced LED display could become available on a broader range of the automaker’s product line.

“Everything we design and architect and all the tools we put together for them are all applicable to the lowest-cost vehicle. They can take all the assets they designed, rebrand [them], maybe remove some capability and features, rescale it to a smaller display, push a button and now you have something for a Chevy Bolt and it’s appropriate for that,” Juran said.

It all points to the era of the rectangular screen, eventually, fading to black.

Research contact: @Forbes

Hundreds of companies, CEOs band together to defend and protect voting access

April 15, 2021

Hundreds of business leaders and companies—including Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, General Motors,. and Netflix—have signed on to a statement promising to “defend the right to vote and oppose any discriminatory legislation” in the latest corporate response to a wave of Republican-led voting suppression bills being advanced in dozens of states.

Among the executive signatories are BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet, and Bloomberg CEO Michael Bloomberg.

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, more than 300 companies, CEOs, and other executives signed the statement, which appeared as a full-page advertisement in The New York Times and other publications on March 14.

It was organized by Kenneth Chenault, the former chief executive of American Express, and Kenneth Frazier, CEO of Merck.

“There is overwhelming support in corporate America for this principle of voting rights,” Chenault said. “The right to vote is fundamental to America. It is not a partisan issue.”

According to the Journal, the statement doesn’t directly address specific voting legislation, nor does it call on companies to take business action or halt political donations to lawmakers supporting such bills.

“Clearly, we’re not being prescriptive about how people manifest their opposition,” Chenault said. “Who in their right mind would say that they want legislation that will limit people’s ability to vote?”

Research contact: @WSJ

GM walks away from stake in Nikola after EV maker is accused of ‘intricate fraud’

December 1, 2020

General Motors has backed away from taking an initial stake in the Phoenix-based electric vehicle (EV) company Nikola—which, as a result, announced on November 30 that it would scuttle one of its marquee vehicles, an electric- and hydrogen-powered pickup that was to be called the Badger, The Chicago Tribune reports.

GM intends to be a major player in the EV market, pledging on its website:  “GM is on its way to an all-electric future, with a commitment to 30 new global electric vehicles by 2025 …. GM is positioned to design, engineer, and produce EVs for every style and price point, and we are rapidly building a competitive advantage in batteries, software, vehicle integration, manufacturing and customer experience.”

However, the decision to step away from the deal came after Nikola founder and Chairman Trevor Milton resigned abruptly from the company in September amid accusations of “intricate fraud” and “an Ocean of Lies” by Hindenburg Research. At that time, Nikola denied the allegations and called them “misleading.”

According to the Tribune’s report, Hindenburg said Nikola’s success amount to a hoax—including a video showing a truck rolling downhill to give the impression it was cruising on a highway, and stenciling the words “hydrogen electric” on the side of a vehicle that was actually powered by natural gas.

At that point, the seeds of distrust had been sown at GM. Indeed, the deal appeared to be in jeopardy as early as late September—when the Detroit-based major U.S. automaker evinced ambiguity about whether the $2 billion partnership would close as scheduled, saying that the deal had not closed and discussions with Nikola were continuing.

For its part, Nikola on Monday, November 30, released updated terms between the companies for a supply agreement related to GM’s fuel-cell system , replacing an agreement signed in September. That deal would have given GM an 11% stake in Nikola.

The early agreement would also have allowed Nikola to use GM’s new battery electric truck underpinnings for the Badger, and its fuel cell and battery technology as well. That is no longer part of the agreement, essentially gutting Nikola’s plans for the Badger. Nikola said Monday that it will begin refunding deposits made by customers who wanted first dibs on that pickup.

GM still will be part of a global supply agreement that would integrate GM’s Hydrotec fuel-cell system into Nikola’s commercial semi-trucks.

Nikola said Monday that its work on heavy trucks will continue. “Heavy trucks remain our core business and we are 100% focused on hitting our development milestones to bring clean hydrogen and battery-electric commercial trucks to market,” said Nikola.

The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department are reportedly investigating Hindenburg’s allegations. GM has said it did proper due diligence before entering the partnership.

Research contact: @chicagotribune

Chevy designs 2020 Corvette Stingray Convertible with hard, retractable roof

October 4, 2019

When Prince released his chart-topping song, Little Red Corvette, in 1983, Chevrolet already was gearing up for its 1984 C4 model—which would sell more units (51, 547) than in any year since 1979 (53,807); and would not be topped again.

In fact, just 18,789 Corvette C7 units sold in 2018; and fewer than 10,000 have left dealerships this year so far, according to the website CorvSport.

Now, the automaker intends to revive and expand the cult audience for its sports car with some unique tweaks to its design, Bloomberg reports. The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible, which the company launched on October 2 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is the first Vette in history to have a hard, retractable roof, rather than one made of canvas. Chevy is hoping that younger drivers will find the design appealing—creating a whole new generation of loyal buyers.

The hardtop on the new mid-engine Corvette Stingray Convertible folds “seamlessly” into the body, as Bloomberg describes it—maintaining the fighter jet-inspired lines of the coupe version, providing a quieter cabin; and offering the same storage space as the coupe, even with the top down.

That’s 12.6 cubic feet, or enough to stow two sets of golf clubs in the trunk during open-air driving. An additional storage compartment in the front of the car, like those found in Lamborghinis, fits a single, carry-on roller bag and laptop case.

“Our goal from the beginning was to make sure customers didn’t have to sacrifice any functionality, performance, or comfort when choosing the hardtop convertible,” Josh Holder, Corvette program engineering manager, said in a written statement to the business news outlet about the new car.

Indeed, Bloomberg says, by transplanting the engine to the middle of the car, evening out its center of balance, General Motors is positioning it to handle better on the track and take on the likes of Porsche, Ferrari, and Lamborghini.

Pricing on the entry-level 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe starts at $59,995. The starting price on the entry-level convertible is $67,495. Whether car collectors and new fans will be willing to shell out that money for a Chevy rather than a luxury brand is yet to be seen.

Research contact @business

Trump’s new limo is a road warrior

September 27, 2018

James Bond would be jealous: His tricked-out Aston Martin had nothing on President Donald Trump’s new set of wheels, nicknamed The Beast by the Secret Service.

Intended to look like a stretched version of a Cadillac XT6 sedan, NBC News reported on September 25,  the $1.5 million limo was rolled out for the first time to take the POTUS from his New York City Trump Tower home base to the United Nations, where he delivered speeches to the General Assembly and the Security Council earlier this week.

It’s one of a dozen that make up a contract initially estimated at $15.8 million and designed to protect the commander-in-chief from virtually every form of attack, the network news outlet said. And, if the president is injured, the Beast has an extensive range of medical supplies on board, including a refrigerator full of the president’s own blood type.

Protecting a president is never easy, especially in a modern era when POTUS could face any manner of threat, from handguns to rocket-propelled grenades. The latest version of the Beast, which was commissioned by the Secret Service in 2014, is believed to combine a variety of different technologies, starting out with an extensively modified platform from a Chevrolet Kodiak, a heavy-duty General Motors truck. And we do mean heavy: The truck weighs in at somewhere near 20,000 pounds.

The Beast is sealed against biochemical attacks, and equipped with run-flat tires inside extra-large wheel wells so it can keep going in an emergency. In addition, the bells and whistles include a night vision system , and the ability to eject a smokescreen, fire tear gas, and lay down an oil slick to send vehicles chasing it out of control. Even the door handles can be electrified to shock those who might try to get inside.

The “Trumpmobile” also contains an expansive array of communications technologies including, among other things, the ability to dispatch the codes necessary to fire nuclear weapons.

The president reportedly showed off the outgoing presidential limo to North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un during their summit meeting in Singapore. Kim, himself, got his “street cred” from a decade-old, luxurious, and heavily armored Mercedes Pullman Guard, NBC News said.

Research contact: @DetroitBureau