General Motors wants to send their cars to the moon, and they’re teaming up with a major defense contractor to make that dream a reality. The longtime American automaker is partnering with Lockheed Martin to develop Lunar Mobility Vehicles. The out-of-this-world ATVs will provide automated transportation for future manned missions to the moon.
At a glance
- General Motors will lease vehicles to various governments that want to explore the moon in coming years
- The lunar vehicles mimic the electric Hummer technology that’s currently under development
- The moon vehicles will recharge with solar energy and will supposedly last about 10 years before needing replacement
The first of such missions will reportedly take place in 2025, the New York Post reports. GM and its partners want the vehicles to add a sense of ease and reliability to an otherwise groundbreaking mission.
GM will build the vehicles with autonomous driving capability and platforms that can handle carrying both humans and gear around the space surface. Interestingly, the project does not require any government funding and is unrolling without support form NASA. Just pure American ingenuity and creativity at play, it seems.
For the autonomous driving capabilities, GM used its own Hummer technology. The company employed a “driver-in-the-loop” simulator for the development of the GMC Hummer EV. Even better, the company halved its to-market time down to two years, which means the technology should become even better and more efficiently manufactured by 2025.
“The things that you would do to make a vehicle good in an off-road environment on Earth are the same things you would do on the Moon, it’s just a shift in the numbers,” said Jeff Vogt, GM advanced vehicle dynamics lead engineer. Vogt’s team reportedly programmed the system with a digital map of the moon’s surface and reduced the function of gravity by about 85 percent.
General Motors is trying to revolutionize the combination of power and technology
But if GM isn’t planning to sell the vehicles to the government, how will they turn the project into profit? A spokesperson said the company plans to send the vehicles to the moon as soon as possible, then rent them out to moon travelers upon arrival. They’ll recharge the moon cars with solar power and should last about 10 years, GM expects.
Back down here on Earth, the General Motors electric Hummer inches closer to reveal. The manufacturer already garnered 65,000 preorders since debuting a commercial in 2020 for the Super Bowl.
Along with a 1,000 hp powertrain capable of accelerating it to 60 mph in three seconds, the Hummer EVs unique CrabWalk Mode promises a four-wheel-steering system to allow the vehicle to move diagonally over rough terrain.
The first Hummers available to market will be the limited availability, top-of-the-line Edition 1, which starts at $112,495; but lower priced models down around $80,000 will hit the market over the coming years as production increases.
“I think what’s important to us is proving that when we say we’re going to do something, we do it; and that’s what we did,” Buick/GMC Vice President Duncan Aldred said.