eBikes GM unveiled Thursday an electronic bike that the company said demonstrates its “evolving view of “mobility” in an ever-changing, increasingly urban world”.
The test fleet would drive and park itself to allow the passenger to sit back and let the vehicle find its way.
To use the service, employees would use a smartphone application, reserving the vehicle and then selecting a destination. Needless to say, the announcement must have been a mighty jolt to tech companies like Google, Apple, and any other company that has been slogging to launch driverless cars. Earlier in September, GM paid US$900mil (RM3.98bil) to settle a criminal probe of mishandled recalls, dispelling a dark cloud on its horizon.
Major rental companies, as well as automakers, are getting into car-sharing.
GM also announced that it would be the first in the auto industry next year when it reveals technology to weld aluminum to steel, helping to reduce weight in vehicles.
General Motors Company [NYSE:GM] will make emerging personal mobility technology an integral part of its future strategy. The smart hybrid vehicle can stretch a fully-charged battery for about 40 miles, before the engine decides to fall-back to the gasoline powered generator.
GM said it now plans for its annual free-cash-flow generation to outpace operating earnings growth.
GM forecasts that from 2014 to 2018 it will earn about US$350mil (RM1.54bil) before interest and taxes on connectivity related services – a rounding error on GM’s projected revenue.
Barra gets good marks from analysts and investors for delivering on the automaker’s profit targets so far – including maintaining a forecast of 9% to 10% profit margins in China despite rapidly decelerating growth in vehicle demand. The company predicts that global auto sales will rise from 85 million this year to 130 million by 2030.
The company said that in 2015 about 26 percent of its sales are coming from new vehicles or ones that had been redesigned over the past 18 months.
Executives said they were prepared to ensure diesel cars met even tougher emission standards and that they did not expect this to impact on costs. “We have a lot of confidence in our diesel technology”, she said. Earlier this year, Ford introduced “Peer-2-Peer, a vehicle sharing option being tested through November in Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco; Portland, Chicago and Washington, D.C., as well as London”. Shares rose 1.3 percent to $30.42 on the New York Stock Exchange, while the broader market was down slightly.
GM launched a ride-sharing app in partnership with Google past year through which drivers and riders can be matched for rides in Chevrolet Spark EVs, but it was essentially an experiment.