Six Innovations You Didn't Know General Motors InventedMay 25th, 2015
Cadillac is all set to introduce the 2016 Cadillac CT6
next year and with it comes General Motors’ first application of V2V (vehicle to vehicle) technology, an innovate breakthrough that allows vehicles to broadcast data about their location, speed and braking status to other vehicles around them.
But V2V is just one in a long line of innovate technologies to come from General Motors. Here are just a few of the most notable breakthroughs to come from the engineers at GM.
1) Electric Starter
In 1911 Charles Kettering saved the arms, wrists, and muscles of motorists everywhere by inventing the self-starter, a replacement for the tiresome hand crank. A version of Kettering’s battery powered motor can still be found in cars and trucks today, more than 100-years later.
2) Automatic Transmission
GM introduced the very first automatic transmission, called the Hydra-Matic, on the 1940 Oldsmobile. It’s ease of use and simplicity were universally adored and soon every car manufacturer adopted the idea.
3) Air Bags
Yet another technology invented by GM that is still used today. First introduced by Cadillac, Buick, and Oldsmobile in 1970, the “air cushion restraint system”–later known as the airbag– was the very first type of cushioned restraint system to hit the market.
4) The Catalytic Converter
General Motors first started developing the catalytic converter– in essence, a device used to convert toxic pollutants into less toxic pollutants– in the 1960s, and development accelerated in the 1970s when GM became the first automaker to develop engines that use low-lead or no-lead gasoline.
Introduced nearly 20 years ago (1996), OnStar has grown to become a leading in-vehicle communications system. Today, more than 7-million people use OnStar to assist with emergency services, security, navigation, and diagnostic and connectivity services. And now, in-car Wi-Fi
6) Extended Range Electric Vehicles
Okay, so GM didn’t invent the electric vehicle, but it create a whole new segment known as Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV) when it introduced the very first Chevrolet Volt
back in 2010. EREVs work in two ways: EV mode (engine off) and extended range mode (engine on).
Once the battery is depleted, the engine kicks in to power the electric motor to extend the vehicle’s range. Speaking of the Volt, there’s a brand new version right around the corner