The global automotive technology capabilities of General Motors Technical Center India (GMTC-I) is on display at the FISITA World Automotive Congress 2018 in Chennai. GMTC-I houses a design studio and engineering centrE in India and contributes to a significant percentage of the GM global programmes. It is focussed on global programmes including design, analysis and development of vehicles and propulsion systems, claims the company.
The centre today unveiled a locally built prototype electric vehicle (REEV) designed exclusively for the national REEV student competition. Unveiling the vehicle, Dan Nicholson, General Motors, Vice President, Global Propulsion Systems, said the world-class capabilities of GMTC-I form an important part of GM’s global engineering operations and plays a significant role in GM delivering its commitment to create a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion. REEV will serve as the basis for an annual national competition in partnership with SAE for design and engineering students to develop their own vehicles, and drive a new wave of innovation in India.
REEV competition will explore the new age technology in the automotive industry such as hybridisation, light weighting, optimisation, range extension, fuel awareness, etc. GMTC-I and SAE Bangalore, through this competition, aim to engage with the next generation of engineers making them industry-ready. It further aims to inspire students and universities in the wake of the Indian government’s plan to have at least 30% on-road electric vehicles by 2030. Nicholson said, “We are seeing more change in the automotive industry in this five years, than we have seen in the last 50 and I believe that designers and engineers will be at the forefront of this innovation.”
Brian McMurray, Vice President, Engineering and Operations, GMTC-I, said the intellectual horsepower of GM’s designers and engineers in India was further demonstrated in the team’s 71 technical papers accepted by FISITA covering various innovation areas. Looking at the future of personal mobility, GMTC-I plays an important role in GM’s global core business: designing and engineering world-class vehicles that inspire passion for a safer tomorrow, he added.
A new addition to the team is MITRA, an AI-powered robot helper. The robot was previously showcased at the World Entrepreneurship Summit in 2017 and is designed by Bengaluru-based startup Invento Robotics. The indigenous MITRA which runs on a proprietary OS, mans the GMTC-I stall at FISITA and engage with the visitors on various queries. The humanoid comes with a touchscreen on its chest and understands multiple languages that enables it to engage in smart conversations with the guest. At FISITA, GM has deployed the virtual reality facility to provide real-life experience of car crashes and GM’s safety technology to the public. GMTC-I stalls at FISITA also provide technology demonstrations and the opportunity to discuss automotive design, engineering and innovation with the team at GMTC-I.