Blog: Simon WarburtonGM's concept the envy of Shanghai

Simon Warburton | 13 September 2010


GM's Christopher Barroni-Bird with his trio of EN-Vs

GM's invitation to attend its Shanghai Expo event at the Mayor of London Boris Johnson's City Hall fiefdom was certainly enlivened by a Chinese theme - including a rather tasty buffet.

The automaker was presenting its vision of the future - in the guise of the Jiao, Miao and Xiao - not a firm of Chinese accountants - but a trio of Electric Networked Vehicles or EN-Vs as GM likes to call them.

And GM's vision of that future is really something as director of advanced technology vehicle concepts Christopher Borroni-Bird outlined.

Borroni-Bird posed a fascinating series of 'what-ifs' including remote parking - you simply tell your mobile phone to park the car and away it goes. Or you could sit in your car and do something else entirely - such as have a video conversation while the car steers itself.

The presentation concluded with an animation of a Chinese city - where tiny cars zoomed around harmlessly avoiding each other at what looked like very close proximity.

Borroni-Bird's CV is rather impressive too. A long roll-call of qualifications includes - among others - a first class degree and MA in natural sciences from Cambridge, a Ph. D in surface science and a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Tokyo's Institute for Solid State Physics.

Opel/Vauxhall's Advanced Design department also had Sergio Loureiro da Silva present his thoughts, which could see the cars wrapped in whatever fabric or customisation you felt like.

And what better place to talk about design than on the top floor of City Hall's fantastic armadillo-like building and right opposite London's iconic Tower Bridge?


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