Technology

GM unveils self-driving flying Cadillac

General Motors on Tuesday presented a futuristic flying Cadillac — a self-driving vehicle which takes off and lands vertically and carries the passenger above the streets and through the air.

A senior GM executive described the concept as “reimagining the future of personal transportation.”

The single-passenger Cadillac — technically, a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drone — will be able to travel from urban rooftop to urban rooftop at speeds up to 55 miles per hour.

It is fully autonomous and all-electric, with a 90kW motor, a GM Ultium battery pack and an ultra-lightweight body with four pairs of rotors.

The flying Cadillac was presented in a video as part of a virtual keynote presentation by Chief Executive Mary Barra, along with a family-friendly Cadillac electric shuttle.

Barra last year revealed the automaker was exploring such alternative transportation modes as aerial taxis.

The concepts in the CES video were introduced by GM design chief Mike Simcoe, who described the VTOL as “the Cadillac of urban air mobility”.

“VTOL is key to GM’s vision for a multimodal future,” he said.

The autonomous Cadillac shuttle, described in the video as “arriving soon,” features a boxy silhouette that recalls the Cruise Origin, also designed by Simcoe’s team. It features fore and aft sliding doors and a panoramic glass roof.

The cabin has wraparound lounge-like seating, plus biometric sensors, voice control and hand gesture recognition.

GM declined to disclose further details.

Other automakers, including Toyota Motor, Hyundai Motor and Geely Automobile, have previously shown concept aerial vehicles as part of their future planning.

GM shares were up 6.2 percent to $47.82.

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