TodayMay 12, 2021

Larry Burns and the ENV at the ITF Germany

2011 International Transport Forum (ITF)

Lawrence “Larry” Burns is a Professor at the University of Michigan. He is also the former head of research and development for General Motors. Burns was at the 2011 International Transport Forum and showed the Electric Network Vehicle (ENV).

The EVN incorporates most of the attributes of DARPA’s urban challenge of autonomous vehicles, Google cars and car-to-car communications. The ENV was first shown at the 2010 Shanghai auto show, and with permission from General Motors Burns showed the video at the 2011 International Transport Forum (ITF).

The ENV is a 600-pound electric vehicle that can fit 5 ENVs into one traditional car space. Each car communicates with the other car on the road, therefore avoiding any accidents. In a country, China, full of automobile accidents and electric bicycles this could be a natural progression.

LAS VEGAS “ General Motors EN-V concepts made their North American public debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, following a six-month run as main attractions at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.

EN-V, short for Electric Networked Vehicle, is a vision of the future of urban personal mobility. Three different EN-V designs represent distinct characteristics that emphasize the enjoyable nature of future transportation: Jiao (Pride), Miao (Magic), and Xiao (Laugh).

Using a driving course set up outside of the Las Vegas Convention Center, GM demonstrated the autonomous driving capabilities of EN-V, including a feature that would allow the vehicles to park themselves and automatically return to the user when summoned from a smartphone application.

At less than half the length of a Smart ForTwo, six EN-Vs can fit into a standard American parking space while oneself-balancing two-wheeled EN-V provides interior space for two passengers.  Using its sophisticated sensing technology, EN-V can detect obstacles in its path, including pedestrians or other vehicles, and automatically come to a stop.

“I was a little worried about the balancing before I got in but it felt totally normal complete natural,” said Mark Harris of the Sunday Times of London, who rode in one of the EN-Vs.

“The field of vision is really impressive as well,” said Pike Research analyst John Gartner. “It’s a great sense of being aware of everything around you.”

Following CES, the EN-V vehicles will be on static display at North American International Auto Show in Detroit and make selected appearances around the United States.

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Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.