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2020 Chevy Bolt Overview

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DETROIT — Since 2006, improvised atomic devices have dead added than 1,000 U.S. troops in Iraq as baby groups of U.S. soldiers routinely biking in convoys on bomb-ridden roads, according to Congressional Analysis Service data.

But Accepted Motors is developing commercial agent technology that could dramatically lower the casualty count from IEDs.

In fact, GM is bank that it has a lot of technology that the aggressive will want to buy.

For example, “GM has approved leader-follower capability,” GM Aegis Admiral David Albritton told the Free Press.

Leader-follower means a manned vehicle leads a dozen unmanned cartage using GM’s self-driving agent technology. By removing soldiers from those dozen trailing vehicles, animal safety rises dramatically, said Albritton.

“GM can do that,” said Albritton. “We accept yet to beef that out, but it’s an opportunity.”

Lt. George Lopez, left, and Staff Sgt. Tim McNiel audit a bridge. (Photo: Jack Gruber, USA TODAY)

GM sees myriad opportunities to use its electric agent and free technology in military applications. So, two years ago, it started GM Defense, a wholly endemic subsidiary.

GM Defense is looking to use hydrogen ammunition beef in unmanned submarines, actualize remote-controlled robots, and potentially a militarized adaptation of the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt car.

It is additionally assertive to add hundreds of millions of dollars in acquirement to GM’s coffers if it wins a U.S. Army arrangement for which it’s a finalist.

“There are a ambit of things above our portfolio above aloof authoritative cartage that we’re attractive to acquaint to the military,” said Albritton. “That’s allotment of what I’ve been absorption on — to acquaint those capabilities to the Department of Aegis or added government agencies.”

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David Albritton, admiral of GM Aegis at the Accepted Motors headquarter in city Detroit, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. (Photo: Junfu Han, Detroit Free Press)

GM is not new to the aegis business. In Apple War I, GM made the trucks acclimated in the U.S. military. In fact, GM operated a aegis business until 2003, afresh awash it to Accepted Dynamics.

GM alleged Albritton, 53, as GM Defense president in November 2018. He is a graduate of the Naval Academy and he served as an administrator in the Navy for 10 years. His job keeps him abundantly in Washington, D.C., visiting the Pentagon or the Capitol to accommodated with assembly to brainwash them on GM Defense.

The bulk of GM Defense’s staff of 25 bodies work in southeast Michigan. They tap into the talents of GM’s engineers and technology experts to acquisition new ways to use lithium-ion batteries, hydrogen ammunition cells, cybersecurity technology and freedom for the military. 

Neither Ford Motor Co. or Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has a agnate business arm committed to the military. Both do accepted business with the government, including the military.

For example, in October, AM General, a architect of ablaze appropriate vehicles, partnered with the Jeep cast to admission a ablaze appropriate abstraction agent at an anniversary U.S. Army exposition. The Jeep Gladiator Extreme Military-Grade Barter (XMT) is the aboriginal appearance of the accord for a failing aggressive truck. FCA said depending on the military’s absorption in the Gladiator XMT, assembly could activate in the additional bisected of 2020. 

GM Aegis got its aboriginal big attempt at a new aggressive arrangement in backward 2018.

The U.S. Army sought bids for a prototype Infantry Squad Vehicle. It capital an ultralight appropriate vehicle, 5,000 pounds or less, that can be loaded beneath a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter or put in the aback of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter and alone into battle.

GM Aegis Infantry Squad Agent at its Proving Grounds in Yuma, AZ (Photo: GM Defense)

GM’s prototype is a modified adaptation of GM’s Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 midsize pickup. In fact, it’s 70% off-the-shelf parts, said Albritton. The 2.8-liter agent vehicle can backpack up to nine soldiers.

Five companies, including the new GM Defense, responded with proposals to create the ultralight appropriate vehicle. In June, the army alleged its three finalists:

As a finalist, GM Aegis won $1 million. The Army asked the finalists to create two added prototypes that it is currently testing. It is accepted to name a champ in March, said Albritton.

“If we win this program, the belvedere can be acclimated for all-embracing sales to other military, added government agencies like Border Patrol, the Marine Corps, Air Force and Special Forces,” said Albritton. “It would be a abundant cornerstone affairs for GM Aegis entering aback into the aegis bazaar and attractive at means to aggrandize our footprint.” 

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GM can advertise alone to affiliated armament of the United States, but the Infantry Squad Vehicle can accept “different variations on this belvedere and that would be a absolutely altered contract” with a new customer, Albritton said.

If GM Aegis wins the arrangement with the Army, it would be its biggest accord to date.

It would pay $155 actor to GM Aegis to build 2,065 Infantry Squad Cartage over the abutting decade. GM Aegis has a few baby affairs now, best are of “the R&D variety,” and Albritton beneath to action any specifics.

But any money GM Aegis brings in goes to GM’s basal line, Albritton said.

“We will never be a $147 billion company, that’s not the abstraction of Accepted Motors Defense,” said Albritton. “But it allows us to booty advantage of these analytical capabilities that we’ve got aural this aggregation and accommodate them in a altered ambience with a absolutely altered customer.”

GM Defense’s Infantry Squad Vehicle, a finalist for the U.S. Army in what would be a $155 actor arrangement if GM Aegis wins it. The agent was attempt at GM Defense’s Proving Grounds in Yuma, AZ (Photo: GM Defense)

And it helps GM pay for its analysis and development, he said.

“There are things the aggressive has invested in that we can advantage some of their dollars to advice with the adorning cost,” said Albritton. “Then, provide that adequacy aback into the military.”

The abeyant clearing aisle for a agent like the Infantry Squad agent would be closing electrification, said Albritton. The aggressive will not be accessible for a continued time to move into full-electric on the battlefield, he said, because of restricted range, a abridgement of charging basement and the diffuse time to recharge a battery. 

“But in the interim, accepting a alloyed band-aid of agent and electric is absolutely actual achievable and a solution we’re already alive on with the Chevy Bolt, but in a militarized sense,” said Albritton.

As GM shortens charging time for lithium-ion batteries and makes advances in hydrogen ammunition cells, either or both could alter the agent engines to accord it “a absolutely altered mission capability,” Albritton said.

The advantages of electrification in the battlefield are:

Finally, hydrogen and oxygen could be used on an unmanned belvedere beneath the sea, said Albritton. That would acquiesce the Navy’s submarines to break under the apparent significantly longer than acceptable diesel-hybrid vessels. 

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“Today, if it’s not a nuclear-powered submarine, agent submarines, which there are plenty of them about the world, have to snorkel, they accept to accompany air in so they can allegation the batteries and afresh the abysmal submerges again,” said Albritton. “It’s beneath able at commutual its mission if the abysmal has to accumulate re-emerging.”

A hydrogen ammunition corpuscle submarine could break underwater for weeks at a time and be abundant beneath cher than a nuclear submarine, which can break abysmal for months.

Albritton said his better challenge is bringing acquaintance to military leaders and associates of Congress of what GM Aegis is able of offering.

“We accept not been in this business for 16 years so it’s the reintroduction of our aggregation into this marketplace,” said Albritton.

David Albritton, admiral of GM Aegis at the Accepted Motors headquarter in city Detroit, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. (Photo: Junfu Han, Detroit Free Press)

If GM does not win the Infantry Squad Agent contract, Albritton said it will be disappointing, but he will columnist on.

“There are a cardinal of added programs we are potentially aggressive for now. We’re partnering on a affairs alleged the automatic action vehicle,” said Albritton. “It has a light, average and abundant version. On the ablaze and medium, we are attractive to be a accomplice on some teams to attempt for those two programs.”

RCVs are accidentally controlled robots that would give soldiers expanded capabilities, said Albritton. They would not be absolutely autonomous, but rather like a drone, which is piloted by a human.

As for abounding self-driving of aggressive vehicles, GM Aegis is not yet alive with GM Cruise, GM’s free agent unit. Full freedom charcoal a continued way from the battlefield. 

“The way companies are attractive at abounding autonomy, where the car makes decisions on appropriate turns, larboard turns, endlessly and so on — in a aggressive ambiance you don’t accept stop signs, lanes or lines. You may not alike accept admission to GPS,” said Albritton.

So free in the aggressive will be acclimated abnormally than how carmakers achievement to use it on noncombatant streets one day.

Still, said Albritton, “The aggressive is attractive for solutions in those areas. There are companies that do those types of things and we’re alive to see if we can comedy in that breadth or not.” 

Follow Detroit Free Columnist anchorman Jamie L. LaReau on Twitter @jlareauan.

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Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2019/12/22/gm-military-vehicles-self-driving-cars/2709275001/

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