GM publishes “Blue Paper” on sustainable urban mobility; integrating input from Sustainable Urban Mobility events in Shanghai

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The convergence of a wide range of new technologies is leading to an unprecedented shift in what GM calls “the genetic makeup” of motor vehicles. Click to enlarge.

GM has published a “blue paper” introducing its vision of sustainable urban mobility. The Blue Paper—published in English and Chinese—addresses the growing challenges associated with rising urbanization and the greater demand for transportation with respect to energy, the environment, safety, traffic congestion and land use. Electrification, connectivity and creative design are key components of the technology solutions.

The Blue Paper integrates learnings and feedback from GM’s six “Drive to 2030”: Sustainable Urban Mobility forums, which took place from May to October at the SAIC-GM Pavilion at World Expo 2010 Shanghai.

The Blue Paper is an important document that integrates the learnings from our forums and participation in Expo 2010, which have provided a compelling vision of the future of the automobile and urban communities. This vision, which GM is proud to document in the Blue Paper, serves as a roadmap to the electrification, connectivity, creative design, and advanced innovation strategies that will lead the world to sustainable urban mobility by 2030.

—Kevin Wale, President and Managing Director of the GM China Group

In GM’s vision of sustainable urban mobility, vehicles of the future will be increasingly powered by electricity, connected continuously to the communications infrastructure, electronically controlled, autonomously driven when desired, and flexibly designed to meet specific usage requirements. With this vision, GM proposes specific objectives for future mobility.

The Blue Paper offers eight recommendations for overcoming the challenges associated with the rising demand for personal mobility and growing urbanization:

  1. Accelerate and encourage the move to the electrification of the automobile, including the development of key vehicle components, a smart power grid, and a comprehensive urban recharging infrastructure.

  2. Increase the diversity of energy sources, particularly the development of a broad array of renewable sources, to support low-emission pathways to electrification.

  3. Leverage connectivity by ensuring a high-quality wireless communications infrastructure and encouraging the rapid development of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and related intelligent transportation technologies.

  4. Develop a sophisticated, integrated, intelligent transportation system that dynamically manages large transportation flows using the latest communications and computer controls.

  5. Integrate electrically powered, connected vehicles into a multi-modal transport system that incorporates sophisticated inter-city transport, comprehensive subway systems, traditional vehicle movement, and specialized smaller urban vehicles.

  6. Align government tax, regulatory, and procurement policies to support the vision of connected electrically driven vehicles. Specific globally consistent codes and standards should be developed. Government organizations should also support funding to encourage continued electric vehicle research and development and consumer incentives to support the transition to new energy vehicles.

  7. Begin to optimize the physical infrastructure to support new urban vehicles through active collaboration and cooperation among urban planning authorities, think tanks, academic institutions, automotive companies, and infrastructure companies.

  8. Identify a series of “lighthouse” projects to rapidly demonstrate the viability and potential of connected electrically driven vehicles in a controlled environment such as an eco-city or small town.

Realizing the vision of sustainable mobility requires cooperation among government institutions, the automotive industry, infrastructure developers, and the academic community, GM noted.

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